Seeing elementary and middle school students from New Bedford, Brockton and Boston on a college campus deeply engaged in inquiries around science and mathematics “is a truly wonderful experience,” said Dr. Matthew Malone, secretary of education for the commonwealth, in a speech to 350 public school teachers attending educational training workshops at BSU.
Dr. Malone had spent several hours earlier touring the campus and visiting with young people enrolled in Bridgewater State’s Bridge Partnership program for seventh and eighth grade students from middle schools across the region and its Footbridge Partnership Program for fourth and fifth grade students from the Huntington School in Brockton.
All told, more than 280 children attended the programs in the 2013 session.
Accompanying the secretary was BSU President Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria. The pair stopped in classrooms to talk with students and teachers pursuing classes in a variety of science and mathematics subjects, ranging from aviation science to computer technology.
“Bridgewater is building an enormously important pipeline by focusing on helping children at the middle school level begin studying intently these critical areas,” said Secretary Malone, who formerly was superintendent of schools in Brockton before Gov. Deval Patrick chose him to be the state’s top education officer.
Both Dr. Malone and President Mohler-Faria were guest speakers at the luncheon hosted by the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative, an innovative program funded by public and private support which seeks to address what the organization calls “a drastic decline in math and science education in Massachusetts.”
President Mohler-Faria, in his remarks to the teachers attending the MMSI program, noted that Bridgewater produces more public school teachers each year than any other institution of higher learning in the commonwealth, and is a leader in particular in producing teachers of science and mathematics.
“Creating more opportunities for our young people to gain knowledge and skills in the fields of math and science is such tremendously important work and you demonstrate your belief in that through your participation in the MMSI program,” said President Mohler-Faria.
“At Bridgewater, we’ve made a serious commitment to improving substantially math and science education. Therefore, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege today to have had Secretary Malone, who has been such a strong and effective advocate of promoting the expansion of instruction in these areas, see examples of our commitment and our progress.” (Story and photo by David K. Wilson, ’71, Office of University Advancement)