Learning happens not only in the classroom but in informal spaces, and educators include peers, family members, and community members. We work with the greater Worcester community and the STEM Learning Ecosystems to broaden participation in STEM for equity and access to high-quality STEM experiences, especially for those that have been historically excluded or face systemic barriers.
Our work is reliant on strong partnerships and collaborations with a variety of stakeholders within an ecosystem. These relationships are built upon assets, mutual respect, and the common goal of providing equitable, high-quality STEM.
Most K-12 STEM programs for students are run by our colleagues in the WPI Office of Pre-Collegiate Outreach Programs.
Our teacher preparation program partners with Girls, Inc. of Worcester, Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg/Leominster, and the Latino Education Institute to embed our pre-service teachers in our local community. Many WPI students work with the STEM Education Project Center that focuses on access to STEM education opportunities and works with local community-based organizations.
We are fortunate to be a host site for an AmeriCorps VISTA member to build the capacity at WPI to strengthen community partnerships and participate in community engagement. The current project involves connecting WPI student volunteers with Worcester community-based organizations that serve K-12 Worcester Public School students through programs, mentoring and tutoring in STEM.