STAR STEM Ecosystem
The STAR STEM Ecosystem brings together several high-performing nonprofits and two school districts in a coordinated network to serve students in grades 6-14 who have been historically underrepresented in STEM college and career pathways. Launched in 2018 by founding funder the Biogen Foundation, STAR helps partner and grantee organizations collaborate in new ways, expand, and deepen their programs, and ultimately help more young people in Cambridge and Somerville, MA access and succeed in STEM learning opportunities while developing a lasting passion for science and discovery.
Since 2018, the STAR Initiative supported…
Current Grantee Organizations
Breakthrough Greater Boston is a six-year model that prepares highly motivated low-income students starting in 6th grade through high school graduation with academic programming -- including in STEM subjects-- and college access programming. BTGB also trains the next generation of urban teachers using a unique Students Training Students model.
Enroot empowers multilingual immigrant high schoolers to improve academic performance (including STEM subjects), build community and confidence, develop a clear pathway for higher education and career, and graduate prepared to transition to and graduate from postsecondary education.
Lesley University STEAM Lab supports educators to increase student engagement as they explore, test, and refine hands-on, real-world, student-centered activities in a way that is responsive and catered to the specific needs of their students.
The Young People’s Project uses math literacy work to develop the abilities of elementary through high school students to succeed in school and in life through peer-to-peer learning and teaching opportunities. YPP trains, employs, and supports high school students as math literacy workers that help their younger peers after school and in the summer.
"Investing in one or two organizations is not enough. Even scaling them alone is not enough. Investing in an ecosystem with organizations doing work in school...investing in students as leaders and Including them as equal partners, and doing it in deep partnership with the districts is really powerful."
STAR programs specifically work with students grades 6-14 who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields. This includes students that identify with one of more of the following: Women/Girls, Black/African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Latinx, LGBTQ+, Multilingual Learners, are from low-income households, and/or receiving special education services.
The data below shows student demographics in each of STAR's school districts for the first 4 years.