United Way
of Massachusetts Bay
and Merrimack Valley

BoSTEM

BoSTEM

A bold new collaboration of proven community leaders dedicated to engaging all Boston middle school students in STEM learning opportunities by 2020.

bostemWhy STEM? 45% of the job postings in the Boston area require STEM skills, regardless of the company posting them.  Yet 69% of Massachusetts employers report difficulty in finding employees with the right skills. It is our responsibility, our imperative, to work together to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s workforce.

Why middle school? Just 22% of Boston fifth graders scored proficient or advanced on the 2014 science MCAS tests; for eighth graders, that number drops to 14%.  Student interest in math and science wanes as students move into these middle grades — 44% of 4th graders report math is their favorite subject, that drops to 27% in 8th grade;  27% of 4th graders report science is their favorite subject; that drops to 17% in 8th grade.

BoSTEM aims to ensure 100% of Boston’s middle school students have the opportunity to participate in expanded STEM learning experiences by 2020.  These experiences are hands-on learning opportunities involving corporate volunteers, teachers and nonprofit staff that give students the chance to apply math and science skills in exciting, real-world contexts through a combination of activities in both school and out-of-school settings.

Today, these hands-on STEM learning opportunities are only available to 6% of Boston students through out-of-school time programming.  A partnership between Boston Public Schools, Boston After School & Beyond and United Way, BoSTEM hopes to reach 10,000 BPS middle school students on an annual basis by 2020, providing them all STEM experiences that pique their interest in the STEM fields.

Read our full announcement.

Check out the Boston Globe coverage of our launch with Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang.

For more information, or to get your company involved in supporting BoSTEM through volunteer opportunities or to donate, contact Dahlia Cox at dcox@unitedwaymassbay.org.

STEM-Partners

BoSTEM partners, from left: Michael K. Durkin, United Way, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, David Altshuler of Vertex, Boston Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang, Pat Kirby of Citizens Schools and Ellen Dickenson of Boston After School & Beyond.