Greater Lawrence Technical School has received a $160,000 state grant to create a clean energy program as part of the school’s STEAM curriculum.
The high school is just one of three schools statewide to receive the allocation from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, which will be used to prepare students to pursue higher education majors and careers in clean energy.
“We’re excited and honored to have been selected for this extremely competitive grant to benefit our STEAM program,” Superintendent John Lavoie said. “We have seen a steady rise in number of jobs in these fields and we believe a program focused on clean energy and sustainability will be another great option for students to pursue at GLTS and beyond.”
As part of STEAM Innovation Program, students studying biotechnology will research, develop and implement clean energy fuel sources through the design and planting of green roofs along with growing algae—or biofuel—for transportation. They will also learn the importance of design and technology as it relates to solving energy, social and community issues.
The regional school serves students from Andover, Lawrence, Methuen and North Andover.
According to a 2017 Clean Energy Center report, employers would benefit from educational development in clean energy and STEM topics. Nearly three quarters of employers reported hiring difficulty over the last year, with 47 percent of employers citing insufficient qualified candidates as the most significant barrier to hiring. One of the greatest challenges facing Massachusetts’ rapidly growing innovation economy is the gap between available jobs in STEM fields and qualified workers to perform them.
“Massachusetts is home to a thriving clean energy sector and this investment in our students will help build a workforce that will sustain the Commonwealth’s vibrant innovation economy for generations to come,” Gov. Charlie Baker said. “Providing new opportunities for STEM education for our students will reinforce the Commonwealth’s position as a national leader of innovation.”
Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School and Norfolk County Agricultural High School also received $160,000 grant allocations.