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Adam Freudberg

Director of Operations and Policy Advisor in the Office of Lt. Governor Timothy P. Murray

Massachusetts is a leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, workforce development, and job creation.  By working in partnership with government, academia, and industry, we are leveraging resources in a joint effort to encourage more and more students to study STEM fields to prepare themselves for future careers in Massachusetts’ innovation economy.

In December, I joined a delegation from Massachusetts at a STEM Conference sponsored by the National Governor’s Association.  To kick off the conference, Dane Linn, Director of the Education Division at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, even said:

Many states can learn from the work Massachusetts has done on STEM.  They have clearly demonstrated an ability to think strategically in the development of the state’s STEM agenda both in the short and long term.”

At this conference, the Massachusetts delegation also included the Executive Director of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and senior staff from the Museum of Science, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, PTC a technology company and large employer in Metro Boston, and the University of Massachusetts.  The conference was a great opportunity to highlight Massachusetts’ successes in STEM and also share best practices with STEM leaders across the country.  Linn’s recognition of Massachusetts as a STEM leader reflects the strong collaboration the Patrick-Murray Administration have helped to foster in recent years.

Prior to coming into office with Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray served as mayor of Worcester and on the Worcester School Committee, understanding firsthand the value of education in local, regional and state economies.  As mayor, he oversaw more than a billion dollars in new economic development projects, including projects to enhance STEM related industries in Worcester.

Lt. Governor Murray carried this interest into his new role, and asked that I attend the annual statewide STEM Summit on his behalf in 2007.  At the time, it was clear that Massachusetts was already successful in innovative STEM programming for students and educators; however, Massachusetts lacked in coordination and organized leadership to help accelerate statewide efforts, including funding opportunities.  So, our office began to work with a variety of educators and industry leaders to compile a comprehensive list of all STEM programs, now known as the 1,000 points of STEM.

Lt. Governor Murray then recommended to Governor Patrick that he create a council to focus on STEM.  In October 2009, Governor Patrick then signed an Executive Order in October 2009, creating the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, designating Lt. Governor Murray as chairman.  Since the establishment of the Council, Lt. Governor Murray has built a strong partnership with educators, non-profit and private sector industry leaders, and government agencies to improve coordination and planning.

Massachusetts released its first statewide STEM Plan in 2010, and most recently selected six statewide STEM programs to focus on enhancing and funding which will benefit all regions of the Commonwealth.  The STEM Advisory Council is currently implementing programs needed to reach four main goals defined in the Plan: 1) Expand community engagement; 2) Strategically improve academic coherence; 3) Enhance successful options for educator development; and 4) Expand opportunities with our partners in business and non-profits.

With the leadership of Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray, STEM Advisory Council members, educators and industry leaders, we can and will make positive changes to encourage and educate more students, teachers, and parents on the value of studying STEM education.

Did you know?

  • Growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs over the last 10 years.  (U.S. Department of Commerce) 
  • Throughout the next decade, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent, compared to 9.8-percent growth for other occupations.  (U.S. Department of Commerce) 
  • In comparison to their non-STEM counterparts, STEM workers earn 26 percent more on average and are less likely to experience joblessness.  The average annual wage for all STEM occupations was $77,880 in May 2009, significantly above the U.S. average of $43,460 for non-STEM occupations.  (NGA)
  • In 2010, the unemployment rate for STEM workers was 5.3 percent; for all other occupations, it was 10 percent.  (NGA)
  • Only about a third of bachelor’s degrees earned in the United States are in a STEM field, compared with approximately 53 percent of first university degrees earned in China, and 63 percent of those earned in Japan.  (U.S. Department of Commerce) 

More about the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

 

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