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Massachusetts 'Wow' Initiative Aims to Spark STEM Interest

In an effort to persuade more young people to pursue careers in the STEM fields, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray yesterday announced a new statewide public awareness campaign dubbed the "WOW Initiative" that will highlight, among others, a video game designer and a statistician for the Boston Red Sox.

The campaign, announced at the state's 8th annual STEM Summit, will include a series of videos distributed to schools.

"The benefits of encouraging more students to study STEM fields will have a catalytic effect on Massachusetts' future workforce, jobs and the economy," Murray said in a press release. "By raising greater awareness today through the 'WOW Initiative', we are developing a pipeline of talented future employees in a range of innovative careers in Massachusetts."

Among the first batch of individuals to be featured in the videos promoting careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are Red Sox statistician Bill James, video game designer Jim Toepel from Harmonix Music Systems, ocean researcher Amy Kukulya from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and Nigel Jacobs, the emerging technology adviser to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.

Lt. Gov. Murray also announced yesterday that the city of Boston has formed a regional STEM network, joining six regional preK-16 STEM networks across the state. The STEM summit, co-hosted by Gov. Deval Patrick's STEM advisory council, EDC, IBM, Intel, and others, brought together government, academic, business and community leaders together to focus on future initiatives to enhance STEM opportunities in the state.

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