Massachusetts STEM Summit 2017

Proposals for Exhibits and Sessions now being accepted AND volunteers needed for proposal review

  1. We are now accepting exhibit and session proposals for this year's Summit, to be held on November 11 at the DCU Center in Worcester. Learn more here. Proposals are due by April 28th.

2. We are looking for volunteers to help us with the proposal review process. Each of the strands (listed below) will have a separate review committee:

  • Early Education

  • Higher Education

  • K-12 Education

  • Workforce and Business

Volunteers will be expected to read each proposal received for their strand and attend conference calls with fellow committee members to choose the sessions and exhibits for the Summit.  Those interested in this unique opportunity to assist in shaping this year’s Summit should fill out this short form regarding their background and interests so they can be assigned to the relevant strand.

Recruiting Science Teachers

Building Systems from Scratch:  Research on the Development of Computational and Systems Thinking in Middle School Students through Explorations of Complex Earth Systems

 The Project: A group of science educators and researchers at TERC, an education nonprofit in Cambridge MA, and computer science experts and researchers at Northeastern University are collaborating on a curriculum design and research project that focuses on middle school students making computer games about climate science.

What it means for teachers and students to participate: This is Year 3 of the project. By next year, we will have undertaken two years of implementation and curriculum redesign in Cambridge and Newton with a total of 9 teachers. In Year 3, we will be conducting a comparison study.

We are asking you to be an implementation or comparison teacher.

What will teachers get:  Professional development to support implementation will consist of a 3-day summer workshop (18 hours), followed by 8-10 hours online and 8-10 hours of teacher-led study groups during the school year. In the summer following implementation, teachers will attend a 1-day (6 hours) wrap-up workshop.  They will earn PDPs for their work in the project, or they may participate in an additional 15+ hours of work to earn 3 graduate credits. In addition, they will deepen their understanding of effective practices in implementing the new standards.  They will contribute to research and a new curriculum that will integrate computers in STEM classrooms. Teachers will be paid a stipend for their work at a rate that is typical for similar work in their districts.

Please contact Eli Tucker-Raymond ( 617 873-9683 or Gilly Puttick ( 617 873-9600 if interested or with any questions.

Educator Licensure & License Renewal Proposed Regulation Changes:

On February 28,  the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted 9-1 to send proposed changes to the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00), Educator License Renewal (603 CMR 44.00), andCertification of Supervisors of Attendance (603 CMR 13.00) out for public comment. The public comment period is open until May 1, and ESE encourages educators to weigh in on these proposals.  The Department anticipates that the draft regulations will return to the Board on June 27 for a potential vote.

The proposals are intended to streamline the regulations and licensure system, close loopholes, clarify certain provisions, and reduce regulatory burden. Public comment can be submitted via online survey through the links provided above or via email to

MSSEF Educator Day 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017:  8:30 - 1:30 pm, MIT, Cambridge

See the State Science Fair behind the scenes

Held during the statewide high school Science & Engineering Fair, Educator Day takes you behind the scenes of the 68th annual statewide Science Fair to observe and participate.

VIP Access to MA State Science Fair events - for learning & discussion: 

  • Showcase of Student Research Projects - 300 "best of the best" statewide
  • Gain insight into student research and fair logistics
  • Learn from today's students what makes them love science & engineering research
  • Attend Judge Orientation - with 300 scientists & engineers from academia and industry
  • Network with your colleagues
  • Complimentary parking, and light breakfast & lunch also provided

Seminar Format -- Reserve Your Seat --Spaces are Limited

Register now!

For more information

About MSSEF Educator Day

Inspired by the Intel ISEF Educator Academy, which connects to and benefits from holding educator "Shop Talks" during the week-long International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), teachers have described the MSSEF Educator Day as one of high value, particularly after attending the judge orientation session and observing students as they explained their projects at the statewide high school science & engineering fair.

Summer 2017 Teacher-in-Residence at the Museum of Science

Spend this summer at the Museum of Science as a Teacher-in-Residence. Learn from our staff and share your knowledge of formal learning environments, get a behind-the-scenes perspective of the Museum, and serve as a liaison between the Museum and your school or district. As a Teacher-in-Residence, you will collaborate on a relevant Museum project, participate in a weekly seminar, and work on an independent project of your choice.

This program runs Monday, July 10 through Thursday, August 10, 2017. Our typical program week is Monday – Thursday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; however, flex schedules are available. During the school year, you are also expected to work an additional 24 hours to research and develop a product determined by you and your Museum partner. All participants must also attend a call-back meeting scheduled for early December. Although we are not able to offer housing, we do offer stipends of $3,500.

NSF opportunities for middle school science classrooms

The first is a proposal to the National Science Foundation for an experimental curriculum design project that will integrate robotics, engineering design and biomimicry (drawing inspiration from nature to inform robot design) in middle school science classrooms.  At this point, interest at the district level sufficient to write a letter of commitment to help us with teacher recruitment is all that we are looking for. 

The second project is currently in its 2nd year of implementation in Cambridge and Newton 8th grade classrooms. We are testing a curriculum that integrates computers into Earth science by tasking students to design a computer game that teaches other students about climate science. We would be seeking to recruit 8th grade teachers to participate in the project during the 2017-2018 school year.  The curriculum takes about 20 hours, is aligned with the MA standards, and students in the program have shown significant assessment gains. Teachers will receive professional development and a stipend for their participation.

If interested, contact Gillian Puttick for more information at 617 873 9712 or

Attention STEM Teachers - Make Your Classes More Student Centered

View the new MSSEF video featuring
TSIP, " Teaching Science Through the Inquiry Process", provides practical strategies to integrate inquiry into your classrooms.  CLICK HERE

Information about the two additional PD courses is included at the end of this video. 



Enroll by April 26th for Reduced Tuition - $250!


Special Session hosted @ Plymouth Public Schools 

Graduate-credit course for STEM teachers of students grades 6-12
June 26 -30 & Saturday, October 28, 2017 8:30 am - 3:15 pm
Part of MSSEF's 2017 Curious Minds Initiative (CMI) Courses

Next-Generation MCAS Practice Tests Available:

Next-generation MCAS practice tests are being posted on a rolling basis to the new MCAS Resource Center. A student tutorial for the computer-based version of the test is coming soon to the same webpage. These resources let students try the testing platform, including the tools and accessibility features that will be available during testing. This is also an opportunity to become familiar with new technology-enhanced types of question. Since this is the first year of phasing in computer-based testing for MCAS, ESE strongly encourages schools to have all students view the tutorial and try practice tests.


Beginning with the class of 2016, a student’s score on a high school Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) MCAS test will be added to the eligibility criteria for the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship. Therefore, the score for a grade 9 or 10 student who takes the February 2014 Biology MCAS test will count toward his or her scholarship eligibility. 

The Department strongly recommends that schools notify students and their parents or guardians in writing about this new criterion if students will be participating in the February Biology MCAS testing. Please refer to the Department's website here for more information about the Adams Scholarship.

What are your experiences teaching climate change?

At the National Center for Science Education, we're getting a lot of questions about whether the new administration's attitude towards climate change is going to affect science education. We would really value your feedback! What is your experience with teaching climate change? Do you teach climate change in communities where there is a lot of opposition or lack of acceptance? Do you anticipate, or have you already experienced, any differences in your students' questions since the election?

We are interested in hearing about how you have worked through teaching socially controversial material. 

Please email to share your experiences. We will not share any of your stories without your permission. 

2001/06 Grade 3-5 and 6-8 STE standards that will be assessed on the 2017 MCAS Grade 5 and 8 STE tests

Attached are lists of the 2001/06 Grade 3-5 and 6-8 STE standards that will be assessed on the 2017 MCAS Grade 5 and 8 STE tests. These lists of standards are being released because schools and districts are currently transitioning to the standards in the 2016 Massachusetts STE Framework. Schools and districts are at different points of transition, so providing these lists identifies standards that may need to be included in instruction. These lists will be posted to the ESE’s website in the next week.


The transition timeline for the MCAS STE tests can be found at:


If you have questions, please contact


Transition Plan for MCAS Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) Tests

At its January 26, 2016, meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to adopt the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards. These revised standards were incorporated into the 2016 Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework, published in April 2016. 

Accordingly, over the next few years the MCAS STE program will be transitioning to assess the new standards, as described below. During this time, the STE tests will also be redesigned for computer-based administration, as part of the Commonwealth’s move to “next generation” MCAS assessments. This process will include the introduction of new test designs and new item types. The Department will be recruiting schools with grades 5 and 8 to participate in a voluntary tryout administration of new item types in late spring 2017, after the regular MCAS administration. The Department will provide more detailed information about the new test designs, item types, and tryout opportunities in a future update.

Click HERE to look over the transition plan.