Governor Ned Lamont has announced the launch of the Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge. The statewide initiative presents elementary, middle, and high school students with a series of hands-on design projects to keep them engaged in learning during the summer months while growing skills for the future.
Developed in partnership with the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy and the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, the web-based STEM challenges will help prepare students to thrive through high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Each weekly challenge will introduce students to virtual instruction with Yale student organizations and building projects with everyday materials. All Connecticut students in grades 3 to 12 are eligible.
The initiative is part of Governor Lamont’s plan to provide students and families with engaging enrichment and learning experiences as the state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the six at-home design challenges, each Monday the governor will launch a new challenge online at ct.gov/SummerSTEMChallenge. Students, who are allowed to participate as individuals or in groups, will have until the following Friday to complete the challenge. Participants will submit their projects digitally and a panel of expert judges will choose the weekly winners based on creativity and design. The winners of each weekly challenge will receive a prize and, at the close of the six weeks, all the winners will be eligible for one grand prize in each category for participating in all six challenges.
“Over the course of the pandemic, so many students missed out on classroom experiences that are essential to their development,” Governor Lamont said. “Our administration is launching the Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge as a way to help them have a stimulating summer and an engaging educational experience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time giving our youth experiences that will improve their career opportunities.”
“The Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge will be shared with school districts, municipalities, and many summer camps across the state,” Connecticut’s Chief Workforce Officer Kelli-Marie Vallieres said. “Our goal is to engage as many students as possible to excite them about STEM and spark their interest to explore STEM curriculum and careers.”
“Yale University is honored to partner with the state to provide enriching educational opportunities for elementary, middle and high school students,” Yale University President Peter Salovey said. “The Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge will help young scholars gain an appreciation for STEM, incorporate critical thinking into their studies and lives, and become the next generation of innovators. I am proud that students from Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science are developing challenges for this initiative. They are incredible role models and will demonstrate to the participants what can be achieved through persistence and hard work.”
The Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge is inspired by the work of the Governor’s Workforce Council. The effort is a collaboration of a statewide working group of higher education institutions seeking to support education summer enrichment efforts. The Governor Lamont’s office, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and Yale will continue to work toward the shared goals of improving STEM opportunities for Connecticut students and to provide the necessary skills for an economy that meets the needs of the 21st century.
More information on the program, including the challenge materials, is available online at ct.gov/SummerSTEMChallenge.