Massachusetts has developed a reputation for being a hub of innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math. Fields like health care and technology are booming here. Yet compared with the general population, the people who fill these roles are disproportionately White. Estimates indicate that between 2018 and 2028, one out of every three jobs created in Massachusetts will be in STEM fields. There are increasing opportunities to work in this growing, lucrative industry. But for whom? Research shows that even though many students with marginalized identities have an intrinsic interest in and capacity for STEM coursework, there is a systemic shortage of support, representation, and resources to help cultivate that interest.
This case study looks at how the BoSTEM Initiative is working to fill this gap by coordinating a system of high-quality out-of-school-time STEM learning opportunities for middle school students through collaboration with out-of-school-time programs, Boston Public Schools educators, and local STEM industry partners. The report delves into the data to track its progress over the past few years, its potential for continued impact, and how it can be used as a replicable model for communities in other regions.