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QCC Participates in Massachusetts STEM Week

October, 2018
  •  Members of the Women in STEM Club: (from left) President Rose Duchemin, Amanda Hughes and Kacie Senna.
    Members of the Women in STEM Club: (from left) President Rose Duchemin, Amanda Hughes and Kacie Senna.
  • Professor of Astronomy & Physics Andria Schwortz
    Professor of Astronomy & Physics Andria Schwortz explains how a sunspotter works.

The world of science engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) has grown exponentially in the last decade and with it has come an increased awareness of STEM education. Recognizing this shift in innovation, the Baker-Polito administration announced the first statewide STEM week from October 22 – 26 to help raise students’ interest and awareness in STEM initiatives. According to a recent report by the Commonwealth Corporation 600,000 people work in STEM occupations in Massachusetts, making up 17 percent of the total state workforce. The study further showed that by 2026 STEM jobs will be expected to increase by 11.2 percent compared to overall expected job growth of only 7.4 percent.

Quinsigamond Community College has stayed on the forefront of this technology offering programs, technologically-advanced equipment and resources to its students in order to give them a head start when they enter the workforce. During the statewide STEM week event, informational tables were set up inside the Harrington Learning Center, informing students of the exciting STEM programs available to them at QCC. Throughout the week STEM professors took turns highlighting their programs, such as Professor of Astronomy & Physics Andria Schwortz, who did an astronomy demonstration and Professor Jacob Longacre who did some demonstrations of optics/ photonics.

Three students from the Women In STEM (WIS) Club were also on-hand to explain the WIS Club, which was designed for women interested in pursuing science technology, engineering or mathematics at QCC.

WIS President Rose Duchemin, an engineering major at the college, said this is the first time the Women In STEM has been run by the students.

“We’re trying to support women in STEM by socializing with other women who love STEM,” she said, adding that students don’t need to currently be a part of a STEM program to be in the club, they just need to have an interest in STEM. For more information email Ms. Duchemin at rduchemin [at]

Some of the activities the group will be involved in include tours of other schools and businesses, attending panel discussions and working in the QCC Fab Lab.

Culminating STEM week, the college hosted students from 27 students and three teachers from Southbridge High School on October 26. The students spent the morning participating in STEM workshops in the biology, chemistry and Fab Labs.

Visit QCC STEM to learn more.