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.
Boston has committed to a five-year campaign to give all middle-school students access to high-quality STEM experiences. With the goal of creating a model that can be replicated nationally, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, BPS Superintendent Dr. Tommy Chang, and leaders from Vextex, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Citizen Schools, and Boston After School & Beyond have announced “BoSTEM,” a new multi-sector partnership to provide all Boston public middle-school students with a high-quality STEM learning experience by 2020.
Today, these hands-on STEM learning opportunities are only available to six percent of Boston students through extracurricular programming. By 2020, BoSTEM hopes to reach 10,000 Boston Public Schools (BPS) middle-school students annually in a mix of both in-school and out-of-school settings.
It is increasingly clear that young people need a set of skills to succeed in school, college, work, and life. The hands-on nature of STEM programs enable students to make real-world connections to academic content and to develop vital social-emotional skills that are necessary for future success.