MLSC Announcements

Baker-Polito Administration announces new STEM District initiative to support educational equity in life sciences education and training

Massachusetts Life Sciences Middle awards 5 grants for STEM gear and supplies totaling almost $1.14 million to faculty districts of Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield

Lawrence— Immediately, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Middle (MLSC) introduced almost $1.14 million in STEM gear and skilled improvement funding to be distributed throughout 36 public center faculties and excessive faculties in the five faculty districts of Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield. The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito during an event at Lawrence High Faculty, the place she was joined by Lawrence faculty officers, representatives from all 5 awardee districts, and different life sciences and educational stakeholders for the announcement occasion.

“These investments will directly impact the education of thousands of young people across the Commonwealth, unlocking new opportunities to learn, gain skills, and drive interest in a career in the life sciences,” stated Governor Charlie Baker. “With these investments, we’re ensuring the next generation is provided the necessary tools and dynamic space necessary to compete for the exciting jobs in high growth and high paying sectors.”

“Our administration continues to engage Massachusetts students in hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and math, preparing them for success at the middle and high school levels and strengthening the Massachusetts workforce,” stated Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By expanding opportunities for students to be exposed early and often to STEM, we can support their development as learners and cultivate their passions for a career in Massachusetts’ thriving life sciences ecosystem.”

The MLSC is administering the new pilot program that awards grants to giant under-resourced faculty districts. This district-centric strategy helps complete and strategic plans for adequately supporting STEM education across a number of faculties. By awarding districts, somewhat than particular person faculties, the MLSC can provide skilled improvement opportunities that serve academics from multiple faculties on the similar time and improve engagement at the district-level to permit for higher understanding of group extensive useful resource needs and inequities in order to higher handle expertise gaps.

“We are very proud of the investments made by this Administration to strengthen and expand opportunities for students in the STEM fields across Massachusetts,” stated Housing and Financial Improvement Secretary Mike Kennealy. “We are committed to the growth and development of life sciences clusters throughout the state, and this funding is part of our Administration’s significant investment in a workforce ready for the jobs of the innovation economy here in Massachusetts.”

“These investments in STEM represents the promise of new opportunities for hands-on learning for students across Massachusetts,” stated Administration and Finance Secretary Michael J. Heffernan. “This funding represents a long term commitment by the Baker-Polito Administration to invest in the future workforce of Massachusetts and expand the Commonwealth’s life sciences talent pipeline.”

The faculties receiving funding have either not previously acquired grants from the MLSC or acquired considerably much less funding relative to other faculties, have disproportionately greater populations of underrepresented and economically disadvantaged college students, and serve scholar populations that have traditionally underperformed in STEM topics.

“We look forward to working with the schools and teachers to ensure that as many students as possible are provided hands-on learning to grow their skills and knowledge to prepare for a career in the Massachusetts innovation economy,” stated MLSC President and CEO Travis McCready. “Within these school districts are inspiring young people who hold the key to our Commonwealth remaining home to the most robust talent pool in the country.”

Lieutenant Governor Polito joined quite a few state and local officials at Lawrence High Faculty’s Campus Lecture Hall for the announcement of the STEM funding. Lawrence officials provided insights into how these investments will positively influence their group:

“I want to thank the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for their dedication to furthering STEM education throughout the Commonwealth,” stated Mayor Daniel Rivera. “Congratulations to the hard working faculty and students at Lawrence High School on receiving the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center STEM grant.”

“We know good teaching and learning requires the right tools and resources, and this is especially true of good science education,” stated Lawrence Public Faculties Superintendent Cynthia Paris. “We’re grateful to the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and the administration of Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. Polito for making this grant and the support it provides possible.”

“I’m thrilled to see that the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has chosen Lawrence High School to receive this grant,” stated Senator Barry Finegold. “The funding will provide new equipment and materials for the science labs and create new curriculum that encourages students to pursue the life sciences. Not only will this increase Lawrence High students’ interest in STEM, which can lead to rewarding and high-paying jobs, it will also continue to develop English language skills, which are critical for the overwhelming majority of Lawrence students for whom English is not their first language”

“We live in a more demanding and competitive society in which if we need a well-trained workforce. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is a vital school subject that can provide the tools that our students need to succeed, and to strengthen our future workforce to compete internationally, and to continue expanding our global economy,” stated Consultant Marcos A. Devers. “According to the US Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration:  ‘STEM workers command higher wages, earning 26 percent more than their non- STEM counterparts.’ The importance of STEM education programs and a STEM qualified workforce is vital to the economic growth of our city, our Commonwealth and the United States of America.”

“This support from MLSC goes beyond equipment,” stated Representative Christina Minicucci. “It’s about investing in the curiosity and professional development of our students who otherwise may have never thought a career in life sciences was a possibility. This grant will open doors for these students, our next generation of innovators in the field.”

“Our district has placed an increased emphasis on STEM education in recent years and this $130,000 grant provided by the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center will act as a tremendous boost in our efforts. Prioritizing biology programming and devoting further resources to it at LHS will allow us to ensure our students are as competitive as possible with their peers across the commonwealth, the country, and the world. Thank you to Massachusetts Life Sciences Center for this incredible support for our students,” stated Representative Frank Moran.

Leaders from the other four faculty districts reacted to in the present day’s announcement:

“The Boston Public Schools is thrilled to receive this grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center to support rigorous instructional experiences in biotechnology, which will further expand the district’s career technical education pathways and science instruction,” stated Boston Public Faculties Interim Superintendent Laura Perille. “This grant will help provide our students with the skills necessary to compete for higher education opportunities and life sciences career options while supporting the training and ongoing professional development of our science educators.”

“East Boston High School is overwhelmingly appreciative to receive continued support through the MA Life Sciences Center grant along with partnering schools,” stated East Boston High Faculty Headmaster Phillip R. Brangiforte Headmaster on behalf of his staff. “This new funding opportunity will be instrumental in supporting science instruction both in the district and in our Biotechnology Career and Technical Education program.  This grant helps our students thrive by providing the supplies necessary for the students to have better access to STEM skills, internships, colleges, and scholarships. We are thrilled to continue to grow, learn, and partner with MLSC.”

“MLSC’s vision is transformative for Brockton’s children, community and future of the Massachusetts life sciences ecosystem,” stated Brockton Excessive Faculty Science Division Head Jonathan Shapiro. “This award will help provide a cohesive, engaging and rigorous science experience for all of Brockton’s grade 6-8 students. The focus on their scientific foundation will enable our students to achieve and aspire in the sciences throughout their educations and careers.”

“Lowell is extremely grateful for the opportunities that the Massachusetts Life Science Center grant funding will provide for our students,” stated Lowell Public Faculties Coordinator of Science and Social Research, Okay-12 Martha Cohn. “This will include updated equipment for our middle schools, STEM summer opportunities for very deserving students and most instrumentally, the implementation of a Biomedical Science program at Lowell High School.”

“This award will provide the Springfield Public Schools with state of the art equipment and materials as well as professional development,” stated Springfield Public Faculties Director of Science Ronald P. St. Amand. “Through the grant program our teachers and students will work with researchers from Baystate Medical Center and the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute. Working with Dr. Sallie Schneider students will research how exposure to environmental factors, such as chemicals in personal healthcare products might increase the risk of metastasis. The integration of contemporary scientific problems such as this into our instruction will provide our students with exciting opportunities to learn and apply disciplinary core ideas of science, engage in the science and engineering practices, and even make meaningful contributions to science and/or their communities through their investigations.”

The new awards will construct upon historic MLSC support for top faculties and center faculties throughout the Commonwealth. Since 2011, the MLSC has administered five rounds of its STEM Gear and Provides Program, which has enabled vocational-technical and economically disadvantaged public faculties to buy essential lab gear and provides, as well as state-of-the-art tools and know-how to higher practice and prepare college students for life sciences careers. The program also provided funding to support instructor skilled improvement associated to curriculum implementation and gear training.

By means of this program, the MLSC has awarded more than $16.5 million to 170 excessive faculties, center faculties, and organizations throughout Massachusetts, and has leveraged more than $1 million in money and in-kind matching funds from business partners. The program has served faculties in 13 of the 14 Massachusetts counties and 24 of the 26 Gateway Cities. Moreover, 45 % of scholars attending eligible faculties have gained access to new gear by means of this system and 23 % of all Massachusetts public faculty students attend a faculty that has acquired an MLSC grant.

With a concentrate on education equity, the new awards will support students in economically disadvantaged communities who’ve underperformed in STEM subjects in contrast to nationwide and state averages. All the districts receiving funding have experienced a decrease passing price on the Science MCAS exams and a significantly greater failure price than the rest of the state.

The five faculty districts have a minimum of 20 % more students than the state common who are economically disadvantaged. These communities also have a better proportion of underrepresented and minority scholar populations. By doubling down on its efforts to support numerous scholar populations, the MLSC stays dedicated in serving to produce a extra numerous, and subsequently stronger, workforce in order for Massachusetts to stay a worldwide leader in the life sciences.

The almost $1.14 million awarded to the Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell, and Springfield faculty districts will immediately serve a complete of almost 12,000 college students.

In June 2018, Governor Baker signed An Act providing continued funding in the life sciences business in the Commonwealth to invest up to $623 million in bond authorization and tax credit over 5 years in education, analysis and improvement and workforce training. This legislation will serve to reinforce the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to making certain Massachusetts’ management in the life sciences sector.

Overview of proposals receiving MLSC funding

Boston Public Faculties (9 high faculties) – $421,668
Previous funding from the MLSC has helped set up the Boston’s first Biotechnology Pathway Program at East Boston Excessive Faculty. The district is proposing to additional develop and grow the program, while using it as a model for the creation of new Biotech Pathway packages at New Mission High Faculty and Jeremiah Burke High Faculty. Academics from these faculties will take part in summer time externships at MIT. MLSC funding may even provide six other excessive faculties with biotechnology gear to support standards-based labs and activities, as well as professional improvement for academics. Biology academics from across the district worked in collaboration with the MassBioEd Basis, Amgen, and Vertex to develop the curriculum.

Brockton Public Faculties (7 center faculties) – $200,000
While the MLSC has previously awarded Brockton High Faculty three grants and presently sponsors an after-school lab-training program at the faculty that prepares students for internships, Brockton’s center faculties had by no means applied for MLSC funding. At this degree, there’s a important need for gear upgrades and science curriculum transformation to put together students for fulfillment in high school. The district plans to adopt comprehensive and progressive science curriculum for all seven of their center faculties.

Lawrence Public Faculties (1 high school) – $134,373
Lawrence High Faculty’s labs are vastly under-resourced and unable to meet the wants of students in the varsity’s biology program. MLSC funding will outfit the varsity’s science labs with new gear and supplies that may permit for hands-on, inquiry-based classes designed to interact and generate curiosity and excitement for college kids. New curriculum won’t solely encourage students to pursue the life sciences but in addition develop their English language expertise (83 % of scholars have a first language aside from English).

Lowell Public Faculties (1 high school and 9 middle faculties) – $65,317
Lowell High Faculty will obtain cost-share funding from the MLSC to absolutely implement the two-course Undertaking Lead the Approach (PLTW) Biomedical Science program, which was lately initiated with a $50,000 grant from the One8 Foundation. MLSC funding will provide the varsity with laptops and other gear and know-how wanted for the Biomedical program and the prevailing PLTW Engineering course that was launched final yr with a previous One8 Basis grant. Lowell’s 9 center faculties will each receive entry to full classroom sets of microscopes, which may have projection functionality in order to higher interact and encourage students, notably English Language Learners that make up 39% of scholar physique. The district may even receive funding to support and increase IDEA Camp, a summer time program providing STEM workshops at UMass Lowell.

Springfield Public Faculties (four excessive faculties and 5 center faculties) – $316,697
The Springfield Public Faculties will practice academics and equip middle and high school lecture rooms and labs in order to meet new state standards. The training might be carried out in partnership with the Museum Institute for Educating Science, the Baystate/Springfield Educational Partnership, and the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute. 4 excessive faculties will buy units of microscopes with cameras, together with materials and supplies needed to conduct biomedical research. Students may even participate in life sciences career exploration programs and actions. New science and engineering gear for 5 Springfield center faculties may also be bought to higher prepare students for highschool and beyond.

Concerning the Massachusetts Life Sciences Middle
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Middle (MLSC) is an financial improvement investment agency dedicated to supporting the expansion and improvement of the life sciences in Massachusetts, house to probably the most verdant and productive life sciences ecosystem in the world.  Via public-private funding initiatives, the MLSC supports innovation, education, research and improvement, commercialization, and manufacturing activities in the fields of biopharma, medical gadget, diagnostics and digital well being.  Since its creation in 2007, the MLSC has strategically deployed over $700 million in Massachusetts, by way of a mixture of grants, loans, capital infrastructure investments, tax incentives and workforce packages.  These investments have created hundreds of jobs and propelled the event of new therapies, units and scientific developments which are enhancing patient well being and well-being in Massachusetts and beyond.