Stars of STEM Shine at Museum's Annual Signature Event
The third annual Science Behind the Stars was held in Nichols Gallery at the Museum of Science on Thursday, April 26. With more than 400 guests in attendance, the Museum's community of donors, volunteers, and corporate sponsors celebrated the 2012 Stars of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) — Governor Deval Patrick, Lt. Governor Tim Murray, and Intel Corporation, with Dr. Jane E. Shaw, chairman of the board of directors, accepting.
Hosted by Shayna Seymour, from WCVB-TV's nightly newsmagazine Chronicle, the evening began with a showing of the STEM WOWsters video, which was produced by members of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. This high energy video introduces Massachusetts students to 15 STEM professionals, like Red Sox statistician Bill James and Terrafugia COO and cofounder Anna Mracek Dietrich.
Chairman of the board of directors of the Museum of Science, Howard Messing, praised the Patrick-Murray administration "for their leadership in making the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a STEM model for the nation and the world."
Calling the Museum of Science "one of the Commonwealth's absolute gems," Governor Patrick visited earlier in the evening with sixteen members of the Intel Computer Clubhouse , who demonstrated projects that ranged from computer controlled robots and animated video games, to big-beat rap songs produced in the Computer Clubhouse recording studio.
"STEM plays a vital role in our growth strategy here in Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "We will continue our commitment to STEM education so all students can be prepared for future careers in STEM and be a part of the Commonwealth's growing innovation economy."
Lieutenant Governor Murray, chair of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, said, "With more and more students excited about STEM, Massachusetts will have a bright future led by many stars of STEM."
Perhaps the evening's brightest star of STEM was Nancy Douyon, 26, an alumna of the Flagship Computer Clubhouse at the Museum of Science and recipient of an Intel Clubhouse-to-College scholarship to Suffolk University. Ms. Douyon, now a usability specialist consultant with Accenture, shared a powerful testimonial: "The Computer Clubhouse is not just an afterschool hangout to get free multimedia skills. It is a space where my heart, soul, and spirit found strength to believe in myself."
When presenting Intel's Stars of STEM award to Dr. Shaw, Museum trustee Henri Termeer remarked upon the amazing growth of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, which became headquartered at the Museum of Science in 1999 with the incorporation of the Computer Museum. Dr. Shaw agreed, noting that the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network is now comprised of 100 locations in 20 countries.
A live auction closed the event, raising $58,500. Attendees bid on five spectacular experiences, including an oil-painted portrait — or landscape — by Museum trustee Stephen Coit; a private glass-blowing session with Peter Houk, director of MIT's Glass Lab; a four-course in-home party for eight prepared by chef Gordon Hamersley and Ioannis Miaoulis, Museum president and director; VIP passes to the set of Good Morning America and LIVE! With Kelly, furnished by WCVB-TV; and Party Under the Planets — a private event at the Museum of Science for up to 50 family members and friends, catered by Wolfgang Puck.
With lead sponsorship from Biogen Idec and an anonymous donor, the event raised more than $450,000 to support Museum priorities such as student access programs.
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