The Art of Science Learning, a new initiative made possible by funding from the National Science Foundation, promises to enhance STEM education in Worcester through the arts. Led by the Ecotarium in partnership with individuals from numerous Worcester organizations, the project is one of three in the country benefiting from the $2.7 million NSF Art of Science Learning grant. The other two projects are in San Francicso and Chicago.
MSSEF board member Sandra Mayrand, director and founder of UMass Medical School's Regional Science Resource Center and director of the Central Massachusetts STEM Network serves on the advisory board. “The collaboration of the Worcester art and science organizations, including the Medical School, greatly impressed the site reviewers,” said Mayrand. “A lot of people including representatives from government, business, education and the non-profit world quickly came together to present our case. It was obvious that we all had worked together many times.”
In recognition of her work on behalf of STEM education in the region, Mayrand received the 2012 Steve Mills Founders Award from the Worcester Education Development Foundation this month. She was cited for her leadership and her commitment to public education and the mission of the Foundation. She also received a key to city from the Worcester School Committee; the key was made by students at Worcester Technical High School. She has won numerous awards for work in building partnerships that support students and teachers.
Mayrand sees big opportunities for graduate students afforded by the Art of Science Learning grant. “They are the next generation of educators,” she said. “Many of them are hungry for opportunities to teach.”