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Mass STEM Week 2021

The Museum of Science is thrilled to support Mass STEM Week 2021. Together we will create a generation of problem solvers and inspire a lifelong love of science in everyone.

Massachusetts STEM Week 2021 takes place October 18 – 22 and is organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council in partnership with the state’s nine Regional STEM Networks. The theme is “See Yourself in STEM” with a particular focus on the power of mentoring. Women, people of color, first-generation students, low-income individuals, English language learners, and people with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM industries and make up an increasing portion of the overall workforce, but the demographics of STEM fields have remained largely the same.

Mass STEM Week is aimed at encouraging and supporting underrepresented youth, especially Black and brown students, in STEM fields to pursue STEM careers as well as bolster their persistence through STEM education. Since its inception, Mass STEM Week has brought together schools, nonprofit organizations, colleges, museums, and employers across the Commonwealth, all working together to expose students to STEM and excite them about their own potential futures in STEM fields.

Follow the Museum of Science and EiE on social media and share photos or videos. Use hashtags #MassSTEMWeek and #SeeYourselfinSTEM

More information about Mass STEM Week

Design Challenges

The Museum has developed three engineering design challenges for educators and students across the Commonwealth. Each of these are age-appropriate and allow for flexibility and adjustments.

Click here to watch a video about our challenges.

The Challenges will engage students live and in-person as they engineer to solve problems related to environmental challenges humans face across the globe. They will be set in the context of urban, coastal, suburban, and rural settings across the Commonwealth, bringing relevance and access to all participants.


  • Grades PreK – 2: Turtle Habitat Design;
  • Grades 3 – 5: Water Trash Filter Design; and
  • Grades 6 – 8: Storm Drain Design

The Design Challenges, though unique for each of the three designated grade bands, will have a unifying focus on how access to safe and clean water is a shared necessity for everyone inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the United Nations Foundation and adopted by 193 countries in 2015. The goals seek to end extreme poverty, reduce inequality, and protect the planet by the year 2030. The four SDGs that inspired the Museum of Science are Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), Life Below Water (SDG 14), and Life on Land (SDG 15). Together, these goals seek to combat issues such as: inadequate sanitation systems that lead to water-borne diseases; limited access to water, one of life’s basic needs; damage to our marine ecosystems caused by oceans contaminated with plastic; and the impact climate change has on water security, leading to decreased yields of staple crops across the world.


The Museum will be running the Design Challenges in our new Engineering Design Workshop exhibit during Mass STEM Week on:
  • Tuesday, October 19; 10:00am – 12:00 pm (Grades 3 – 5);
  • Wednesday, October 20; 10:00am – 12:00 pm (PreK – Grade 2); and
  • Thursday, October 21; 10:00am – 12:00 pm (Grades 6 – 8)


If you are an educator and are interested in running the Design Challenge in your classroom during Mass STEM Week, please go to learn.eie.org where you will create a free account and find:

  • a sign up form;
  • a professional development video to assist you in preparing to run the Design Challenge in your classroom;
  • detailed information about each Design Challenge including specific lesson plans, instructions, and materials needed;
  • and details about sharing your classroom’s work with the Museum and other colleagues via our STEM Choice Board.

You will need to create a free account to access all of the information.

National Chemistry Week

This year, Mass STEM Week coincides with National Chemistry Week. NCW’s theme this year, created in partnership with the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society, is “Fast or Slow...Chemistry Makes It Go!”

Getting the Right Reaction: Teacher Workshop for an Engaging Chemistry Classroom

Sunday, October 17; 12:00 – 1:00 pm ET (online)

Click here to register for the program.

Join our expert chemistry teachers Bassam Shakhashiri and Ariel Serkin online as they discuss how to engage students in chemistry and share resources for teachers to use during their own National Chemistry Week celebrations. Then, connect with other teachers in small breakout room discussions to share ideas, suggestions, or challenges around chemistry in the classroom that we can work on together.

Bassam Shakhashiri
William T. Evjue Distinguished Chair for the Wisconsin Idea
Director, Wisconsin Initiative for Science Literacy

Ariel Serkin
Co-founder/President STEMteachersMassBay Inc
Regional Representative American Association of Chemistry Teachers

Hands-on Activities

October 17 – 23, 2021

Visit the Museum to discover “Fast or Slow Chemistry Makes it Go!” at our hands-on activity stations featuring chemistry activities facilitated by local college and university guest educators.

Design Toolkit

Looking for fun chemistry activities to do at home? You can find a design toolkit here.

Follow the Museum of Science on social media for more Mass STEM Week and National Chemistry Week content.