Tuesday, October 20, 2009

STEMTech Alliance launches DIGITS program to promote STEM Education

A coalition of six statewide science and technology associations -- including MassTLC -- launched an innovative program called DIGITS at the Massachusetts STEM Summit in Sturbridge. The program connects sixth-grade classes with volunteer industry professionals to inspire student interest in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) careers. It will reach out to sixth-grade classrooms in 568 schools around the Commonwealth over this academic year. Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray is helping kick off the DIGITS program with a visit to a Worcester school.

Despite leading the nation in NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) math test scores, Massachusetts ranks below the national average in student interest in STEM careers. According to 2009 SAT data from the College Board, only 22% of all students taking the SAT test in Massachusetts expressed interest in pursuing a college major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as compared to 28% of test takers nationally, and 34% in North Carolina, a region also known for technology leadership.

The DIGITS program was funded by the Department of Higher Education’s STEM Pipeline Fund and is run in partnership with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Special thanks to Joyce Plotkin for her efforts on behalf of the Council. 

For more info, view the press release, website, YouTube video, Boston.com, and Mass High Tech.

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