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Mar 26, 2017 11:37 AM EDT

Cape Cod Schools Share $1 Million STEM Grant


Several schools stand to gain from a $1 million State STEM grant awarded earlier this month to a national nonprofit that will help expand engineering and computer science education for students in schools across the Commonwealth from grades six to 12.

The STEM High-Quality Career Pathway Capacity Grant was created to increase access for students to engage in project-based STEM courses. The grant prioritizes district schools that are building STEM pathways across all grade levels, The Barnstable Patriot reported.

Project Lead The Way, is a national nonprofit organization, which is focused on improving engineering, biomedical science and computer science, was awarded a state grant of $750,000 for K-12 students and teachers. It also received an additional matching grant of over $300,000 from One8 Foundation, a Massachusetts-based philanthropy that focuses on educational excellence for all children.

One8 Foundation's matching grant was to ensure the expansion of the number of schools that would benefit from the grant. Accordingly, Barnstable High School, Oak Bluffs Elementary School, Sandwich High School, Minot Forest School, Oak Ridge School, Wareham Senior High School and Wareham Middle School were included in the expanded program. A complete list of beneficiary schools is listed in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education website.

Governor Charlie Baker said STEM educational opportunities are critical to prepare students with education and skills they will need for their success in industries thriving in the Commonwealth. Additionally, he said that the grant addresses challenges they face in the state's innovation economy. Accordingly, the aim is to fill the gap of jobs in STEM fields and providing workers for filling those jobs.

The STEM Advisory Council and the Governor's Workforce Skills Cabinet are working in conjunction with STEM High-Quality Career Pathway Capacity Grant and the Executive Office of Education oversees it. Also serving as the coordinating entity, the Stem Advisory Council brings together state agency participants, as well as, those involved in STEM education planning and programming, such as the legislature, including the public and private sectors

Furthermore, the thrust of the program will align with the state's need in fields relating to science, technology, engineering, digital literacy and computer science curriculum frameworks. The program will also focus on providing intensive training and professional development for teachers.

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