Graduate Students Assist Governor's STEM Council

Posted July 2, 2013

University of Maine graduate students have been assisting the Maine Governor’s STEM Council to create a comprehensive strategy to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics initiatives through an effort funded by UMaine’s Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. Laura Millay, a student in the master of science in teaching program through the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, or RiSE Center, and Johanna Barrett, a research fellow at the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and student in the master of arts program in economics and international environmental policy, are providing information and resources to the council on how to create a strategic plan and data dashboard. Daniel Laverty, a science teacher at Mattanawcook Junior High School in Lincoln who is also a master of science in teaching student through the RiSE Center, assisted in the initial gathering and presentation of data.
In the summer of 2012, Millay, Barrett and Laverty researched STEM initiatives and strategies used to promote them in states that are comparable to Maine. Millay, Barrett and Laverty presented last summer’s findings to the STEM Council during a daylong workshop. Currently, the state does not have a comprehensive strategy for STEM initiatives. Millay and Barrett hope the information they provide can help the council create a road map for where they are headed. They are working on a mock-up of a data dashboard they plan to present to the council this summer. Creating a dashboard connects to the concept of data-driven decision making, or using data to inform policy, Millay says.
Millay and Barrett are researching data on students, workforce, achievement, interest and teaching practices. They intend to learn what information is and isn’t available and what would be useful in crafting policy. By looking at other states, they also plan to determine the best way to use, present and make publicly available the findings.
For more information on their work, please go here.