Welcome to DIGITS www.DIGITS.us.com
DIGITS is a sixth-grade classroom program that pairs STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals with sixth-grade classrooms throughout the state to increase students’ interest in math and science subjects and careers. DIGITS utilizes a unique concept of embedding a STEM icon in every letter of the alphabet. The alphabet evolved into a set of student activities that are used to stimulate student interest in and knowledge of STEM careers.
The DIGITS classroom experience takes place during one math or science class and consists of three elements — two hands-on activities led by volunteer STEM professionals, volunteers’ personal career stories and explanation of what they do and how they use math and science in their jobs, and an explanation of the attributes/benefits of working in a STEM career.
Volunteers foster interaction 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, is voluntary/opt-in, and requires no preparation on the part of teachers.
Based on feedback that teachers would like access to more STEM resources, and with the strategic goal of increasing the program’s impact on sixth-grade students, DIGITS developed a Teacher Resource Package (TRP) to provide teachers (who host a DIGITS volunteer) with additional STEM education activities and resources that can be used as a follow-up to the DIGITS classroom presentation over the course of the school year.
Over the last three years of DIGITS implementation in schools across Massachusetts:
- 36,273 students were motivated to study math and science and consider STEM careers
- 229 schools in 127 cities and towns have hosted STEM volunteers in their sixth grade classrooms
- 440 volunteers interacted with students and shared their career stories, inspiring students
- 90 companies, state agencies, universities and other organizations enabled their employees to volunteer and visit classrooms
- Students showed a statistically significant increase in their interest in math/science and their knowledge of STEM careers, and greater interest in STEM-related after-school activities.
- Teacher response to the DIGITS program is overwhelmingly favorable. Teachers surveyed after hosting the program give high ratings to the message, materials, and Ambassadors, and stated that they wanted an Ambassador to come back the following year, and would recommend Ambassador visits to others.