Welcome to DIGITS www.DIGITS.us.com
DIGITS is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) awareness/education program that pairs STEM professionals with sixth-grade classes throughout the state to increase students’ interest in math and science subjects and careers. Volunteers deliver messages about the importance of math and science, engage students in STEM-related hands-on activities, talk about their own career paths, and motivate students to consider a STEM career.
As a follow-up to the volunteer’s classroom visit, DIGITS provides participating teachers with an Online Teacher Resource Package (OTRP), a portfolio of STEM activities, multi-media content, websites, and resources that teachers can use to supplement classroom instruction throughout the school year.
Created by leading Massachusetts science and technology associations, DIGITS was recognized as an @Scale project and endorsed by the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council as a successful, measurable, and scalable program. DIGITS is the only program in the state that brings STEM professionals into classrooms to promote STEM careers.
The DIGITS classroom experience takes place during one math or science class and consists of three elements:
- two hands-on student activities
- volunteers’ personal career stories and explanation of what they do and how they use math and science in their jobs, and
- a discussion of the attributes/benefits of working in a STEM career.
Volunteers interact with sixth grade students, prompt students to envision themselves in a STEM career, serve as role models, and help students make the connections between what they study in school and how math and science are used in the real world.
The program is free to schools, operates on an opt-in basis, and requires no preparation on the part of teachers.
Since the program was first implemented during the 2009 – 2010 academic year:
- 67,000+ students were motivated to study math and science and consider STEM careers
- 750+ volunteers interacted with students and shared their career stories, inspiring students
- 120+ companies, state and federal agencies, and other organizations enabled their employees to volunteer and visit classrooms
- Students showed an increase in their interest in math/science and their knowledge of STEM careers
- Teacher response to the DIGITS program is overwhelmingly favorable. Teachers surveyed after hosting the program give high ratings to the message, materials, and Ambassadors. They stated that they wanted an Ambassador to come back the following year, and would recommend Ambassador visits to others.