Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray were honored this evening with the "Stars of STEM" award at the Museum of Science's Science Behind the Stars annual event. Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray joined Intel Corporation to be honored for promoting and supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in Massachusetts.
"STEM plays a vital role in our growth strategy here in Massachusetts -- a strategy focused on education, innovation and infrastructure," said Governor Patrick. "We will continue our commitment to STEM education so all students can be prepared for future careers in STEM and be a part of the Commonwealth's growing innovation economy.
"Governor Patrick and I thank the Museum of Science for this recognition, but the real stars of STEM are our students who are all destined to be future leaders in Massachusetts as well as educators and industry partners who support them," said Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "As we work towards building a stronger economy, our Administration has focused on supporting statewide initiatives aimed at increasing student interest in STEM related fields. With more and more students excited about STEM, Massachusetts will have bright future led by many stars of STEM."
The Science Behind the Stars was established by the Museum of Science as a signature event in 2009 to help raise awareness of the Museum's commitment to promote STEM education and to also honor Massachusetts leaders, including individuals and companies, who are leading the way to educate the next generation of scientists and engineers. Since the creation of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council in 2009, the Museum of Science has partnered with the Patrick-Murray Administration to support the statewide STEM initiative. Ioannis Miaoulis, President of the Museum, and Yvonne Spicer, Vice President of the Museum, also serve on the Governor's STEM Advisory Council.
"We are pleased to recognize individuals who have made such a strong commitment to STEM education and who share the Museum's mission of transforming people's relationship with science and technology," said Ioannis Miaoulis, president and director of the Museum of Science in Boston. "Governor Deval Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray made STEM education and job development a statewide priority in 2009 with the formation of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, on which I am proud to serve. Their leadership in convening STEM advocates from the public and private sectors has made Massachusetts a model for the nation and the world."
Early in the Patrick-Murray Administration, Lieutenant Governor Murray began collaborating with STEM stakeholders across the state to assess existing STEM related programs in Massachusetts. With more than 1,000 different programs in the Commonwealth, Governor Patrick signed an Executive Order in 2009 creating the Governor's STEM Advisory Council to increase collaboration, coordination and results in STEM education, jobs and workforce development. The Council, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Murray, released the state's first STEM Plan at the 2010 STEM Summit. Since the plan's implementation, Lieutenant Governor Murray and the Council have organized regional networks and infrastructure across the state to move STEM policies towards the goals and benchmarks outlined in the plan. Through the work of the Council, Massachusetts has received national recognition as a nationwide leader in STEM from the National Governor's Association, Change the Equation and Innovate+Educate.
In 2011, the Patrick-Murray Administration endorsed six @Scale Initiatives selected by the Council for projects aimed at increasing PreK-12 student interest in and readiness for STEM college majors. The Governor's Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposed $1.5 million in funding for the STEM Pipeline Fund, an increase of $500,000 from Fiscal Year 2012 which will support the state's @Scale Initiatives and STEM Plan to increase the number of students and teachers engaged in STEM and improve the state's STEM educational offerings.
"The leadership shown by Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray on STEM education has been remarkable, leading to a nationally recognized state STEM initiative that serves as a model for the rest of the country," said JD Chesloff, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable (MBR). "This Administration, and particularly Lieutenant Governor Murray through his leadership of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, understands the important link between producing a pipeline of workers skilled in STEM competencies and the long-term economic success of the Commonwealth. MBR congratulates Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray, and thanks the Administration for their continued investment in STEM education to help Massachusetts remain competitive in a 21st century global economy."