Get Energized! Powering the Future with Green STEM Education (May 15, 2013)

On May 15th, 2013, the Boston Youth Environmental Network, in partnership with Boston STEM Network held Get Energized! Powering the Future with Green STEM Education. This event brought together over 150 informal science educators, after school program providers, program directors, clean energy industry professionals and young people to learn about innovative approaches for incorporating green concepts into STEM education efforts, contributing to career pathways and engage in informative break-out sessions.

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At the beginning of the day, participants took part in hands-on Green STEM demonstration activities and learned about green careers from clean energy professionals and higher education providers. Exhibitors included Beyond Benign, Zoo New England, Next Step Living, AmbriNew England Board of Higher Education, Salem State University, New England Aquarium, FastCAP Systems, “e”inc. , Northeastern Marine Science Center, BYEN’s Everyday Explorers and others. Participants received information about mentoring young people for continued engagement along green education and career pathways, what is happening in the field across sectors and program delivery areas.
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Dr. Becky Wai-Ling Packard, Professor of Psychology and Education and Director of Weissman Center for Leadership, Mount Holyoke College gave an outstanding keynote address, and highlighted all of the promise and possibility of green careers and the many on-ramps to pathways including those offered by community colleges. Dr. Packard emphasized the need for young people to have role models and mentors, and helped the audience imagine a pathway from the students’ point of view. We learned never to underestimate the power of small, casual interactions, because these accumulate and serve as catalysts for engagement in the future.

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Two extraordinary young adults, Hanad Duale and Estefany Benitez, who are in the STEM pipeline followed Dr. Packard’s address. Hanad and Estefany spoke to the audience about their experiences in green jobs and internships and their pursuit of higher education degrees in the STEM fields.

Break-out sessions covering topics such as career connections, diversity and STEM careers, benchmarks for STEM success and incorporating sustainability into STEM programming provided event participants the opportunity to learn from experts in STEM education, meet providers and stakeholders in Boston’s STEM education and industry pipeline, discuss relevant issues with colleagues, and develop strategies to carry the work forward.

Attendees included the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, MA Dept. of Higher Education, Science from Scientists, Northeastern University, Salem State University, the Massachusetts Life Science Center and many more. For a complete list click here.

Watch the videos from Get Energized! Powering the Future with Green STEM Education.
Welcome: George Chryssis, Ben Franklin Institute of Technology
Introduction: Neil Sullivan, The Boston Private Industry Council
Keynote Address: Dr. Becky Wai-Ling Packard, Mount,Holyoke College
Youth Address: Estefany Benitiz, National Park Service
Hanad Duale, Zoo New England
State of STEM: Kamal Chavda, Boston Public Schools