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Senator Spilka Appointed to Governor’s STEM Council

January 25, 2010

Senator Spilka has been appointed by Senate President Therese Murray to the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education Coordinating Council.  The new council, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Murray, will be the central coordinating entity for the Commonwealth as it seeks to increase student interest and achievement in STEM fields.

“Her experience and interest in this endeavor is second to none and I believe she will be a great asset to the STEM Advisory Council,” stated Murray in her appointment of Senator Spilka.

Senator Spilka’s interest in promoting STEM education began when she was a member of the Ashland School Committee.  Hoping to connect what was being taught in school with the needs of the major high tech employers in the MetroWest region, she joined the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce to help facilitate a dialogue between businesses and education officials.

She was an early champion of the Leadership Initiatives for Teaching and Technology (LIFT2) Program, run through the Metro South/West Regional Employment Board, which has been cited by the Governor as a model program for STEM education throughout the state.  In 2008, she was appointed to the Robert H. Goddard Council on STEM Education, which is comprised of 27 high-level representatives from business and industry, state government, and K-12 and higher education in the Commonwealth.  

“As a strong advocate for STEM education both within my district and statewide, I welcome the opportunity to further the work of the Governor’s STEM Coordinating Council,” stated Senator Spilka.  “This issues comprises economic development, labor and workforce development, and education, and is arguably one of the greatest challenges our Commonwealth faces as we prepare our students for jobs in the 21st century.  Massachusetts’ greatest competitive advantage has always been our highly skilled workforce, and this Council will ensure we’re doing all we can to maintain our economic strength.”

The STEM Advisory Council will take a multi-faceted approach in its first year, assessing how best to increase the number of STEM programs in schools in Massachusetts, advising on the creation and dissemination of a statewide STEM Plan with clearly defined goals and objectives for the next five years, and providing recommendations on a campaign to build public support across the educators, and community leaders, the STEM Advisory Council seeks to achieve a greater understanding about the importance of these essential disciplines to a student’s individual success.

The first meeting of the full council will be held on Thursday, January 28, 2010 at the Museum of Science in Boston.

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