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An Early Intro to 'STEM' in Massachusetts

A coalition of business and technology organizations is launching a major effort to get Massachusetts students interested in STEM careers—by reaching out to them at an early age.

The organizers of the project, known as "DIGITS," will arrange to have workers from various science, technology, engineering, and math fields visit 6th grade classrooms and present information on what they do in their careers. The plan is to set up presentations in 568 schools across Massachusetts.

The project is being overseen by the STEMTech Alliance, a coalition of six statewide science and industry associations. "Ambassadors" working in various STEM fields will visit classrooms to talk about their work; they will also be given written resources and materials for video presentations to students, including interactive graphics (presumably on computers). You can find more information on the DIGITS Web site, linked above. The program was piloted over the summer and showed good results, alliance officials say.

How common is it for supporters of STEM fields to tout their work to students as early as middle school? What advantages and drawbacks do you see to this approach?

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