NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that the Berkshire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Network has received $65,000 from the Massachusetts STEM Pipeline Fund to promote STEM education in the region. The funding is part of more than $250,000 in recent grant awards to support the Commonwealth’s Regional STEM Networks.

This regional award will support Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley. As the lead partner of the Berkshire STEM Network, MCLA will continue to collaborate with education, community and industry partners across the region.

MCLA Dean of Academic Affairs Monica Joslin, who serves on the STEM Advisory Council, said an investment in STEM is an investment in the innovation economy.

“The STEM Networks serve as an important resource for educators at all levels. It is important that we meet workforce needs as we connect educators, community agencies, businesses and industry partners,” Joslin said. “Together, we provide opportunities for students, as we prepare them for future STEM fields.”

Begun in 2004, the state’s Regional STEM Networks aim to excite and energize students about opportunities in STEM subjects. These networks are among the longest standing STEM Networks in the country. MCLA will continue to serve as the lead organization for the Berkshire STEM Network.

“I thank all of our STEM Network partners who are working to help meet the future needs of our rapidly changing economy and bolster skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Our collective efforts continue to increase engagement in and raise awareness about the importance of STEM education both for our economy and the new opportunities it creates for our young people.” 

Priorities for FY 2017 include an expansion of work-based learning opportunities for high school students, particularly in the STEM fields; the development and implementation of STEM Early College Career Pathways models; and broadened access to computer science and engineering courses.  

The Governor’s STEM Advisory Council was created by Executive Order in 2009 and codified in statute in the FY 2014 budget. Lt. Governor Polito, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, and Vertex CEO Jeff Leiden all serve as co-chairs. Under the Baker-Polito Administration, the Executive Office of Education leads the work of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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