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Wellesley ready for STEM Week

By Rama K. Ramaswamy

The Baker-Polito Administration, in an effort to encourage and raise interest especially with respect to students, has declared a state-wide STEM week from October 22 through 26. STEM professionals, parents and educators alike are being asked to plan activities and dedicate the week towards all things science, tech, engineering and math.

“Creating opportunities for more students to pursue STEM fields after high school will continue to improve our education system, workforce and economy,” says Governor Baker.

In preparation for STEM week, the Wellesley STEM Expo team, part of Wellesley Education Foundation, has placed yard signs all around town, each with unique STEM quotes. According to Wellesley STEM Expo member, Sheila Olson, "I got involved in planning the first Wellesley STEM Expo in 2012, because I don't believe anyone in the workforce of the next generation will be able to ‘avoid’ STEM fields. Exposure to science and technology is the first step toward comfort and mastery. Still unconvinced of STEM's ubiquity and importance? Consider the fact that the ‘most desirable’ undergraduate majors for business and law school students these days are engineering or one of the hard sciences."

“A core group of parents were involved in curricular development and delivery of the nature walks leading back all the way to the inspirational curriculum developed years ago,” added Julia de Peyster, another Expo member. “As that curriculum was revised and honed, many of the Wellesley elementary schools also began to go beyond parent-led environmental science and create elaborate STEM-oriented annual events to share the joy of STEM with their entire community. Out of these parent motivated programs came the idea to have an inspiring town-wide day of STEM that showcased a whole smorgasbord of science and technology opportunities for all students K-12. As an art history major, I was particularly excited to help promote ‘STEM for all,’ to make sure that every student would view STEM subjects as exciting and approachable, not just those who already self-identified as ‘math-y’ or ‘science-y.’”

Furthermore, on Thursday, October 25, at 7 p.m., at the WHS Library, The Wellesley Education Foundation (WEF) will host a career panel discussion to engage students on preparing for the next step as they begin to consider colleges and possible majors. The goal is to address topics of importance to students possibly considering careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the modern workplace. Panelists include representatives from Google, Gillette, TripAdvisor, Olympus and Olin College of Engineering, who will share their knowledge and experiences. A Q&A will follow the presentation. The event is free admission, but registration is required at https://www.wellesleyeducationfoundation.org/events/preparing-for-the-next-step-stem-career-discussion.

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