WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Pioneer Valley STEM Network has been inactive in western Massachusetts for several years. The Network re-launched at Westfield State with the goal of increasing the number of students that participate in programs related to science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM.
“STEM skills and content are important for any aspect of someone’s life,” said Dr. Jennifer Hanselman, the regional manager of the Pioneer Valley STEM Network and dean of Westfield State’s College of Math and Science.
“It’s about engaging in a potential stem career, but it’s also about providing a foundation for problem solving, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning.”
The group also works to increase the number of qualified STEM teachers, and improve STEM classes in local schools.
“My favorite lab was definitely dissecting a rat,” said Evelyn Humphries, who’s a rising junior at Longmeadow High School. “That was one of the coolest experiences I ever had.”
Humphries wants to become a pediatrician. She takes STEM classes at Longmeadow High School, and participates in a 5-year program through Girls Inc. to get real experience.
“I love being in the labs and being able to wear white coats and gloves and goggles and learning from the professors and scientists.”
Humphries gets her love of STEM from her mom who is a pharmacist.