STEM Workforce Ready 2030

WFR 2030

The Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA), a non-profit dedicated to inspiring and fostering critical thinking, problem solving, and civic engagement through STEM education, has received a $1 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation to expand computer science (CS) education in Maine. The “STEM Workforce Ready Maine 2030” project will create a network of teacher leaders across Maine who are committed to integrating computer science learning in rural PreK-8 classrooms. This 3-year grant will allow MMSA to partner with rural school districts in creating a Research-Practice Partnership—a partnership that elevates educator voices and includes them in the research processes that will shape their future practices. The project will focus on developing engaging and effective lessons to inspire Maine’s STEM workforce of 2030: today’s rural elementary and middle school students.

The network STEM Workforce Ready Maine 2030 will create, and will be supported by, a group of diverse stakeholders including teachers, administrators, business leaders, and researchers. The project aims to train 100 rural educators and give 10,000 rural students access to foundational STEM educational experiences. This exciting project aims to lay the groundwork for truly scalable computer science education reform in Maine’s classrooms.

"Maine has recently seen an influx of high-paying, STEM career opportunities in our state . What we are NOT seeing, however, is a workforce prepared for these jobs. A critical component in building the capacity to meet these STEM workforce needs is creating networks of capable, confident, and inspired Pre K-12 teachers and teacher leaders . The future of CS education is not some distant thought - it is now. The rapid evolution of technology has created a significant challenge for under-resourced rural schools, making it difficult to support teachers in introducing new content such as CS. CS education, and the professional learning that supports it, must be continuously evolving in partnership with learners, educators, and representatives from local businesses in order to stay rigorous and relevant."
Ruth Kermish Allen
Ruth Kermish-Allen
Executive Director, MMSA

We are currently recruiting for three additional schools to join this project. Current partners include: SAD 44 Bethel, AOS 91 Mount Desert Island, and MSAD 46 Dexter. Preference will be given to schools that can commit an administrator as well as pairs of teachers in each grade band (K-2, 3-5, and 6-8). Schools that currently have little experience with CS are a priority. If your district is interested in participating, please have a district representative fill out this application by February 28, 2022. Any questions can be directed to Rhonda Tate, WFR Project Manager, rtate@mmsa.org.

“We at the Harold Alfond Foundation recognize the importance of cultivating all students’ interest in the fundamentals of STEM as early as possible. Through this grant, we hope to set in motion a virtuous cycle of teachers training teachers how to make computer science and STEM exciting and accessible for students throughout Maine.”
GREG POWELL
BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRMAN, HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION

To learn more about the Harold Alfond Foundation please visit: www.haroldalfondfoundation.org.

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