Lamont, Yale launch a series of summer STEM challenges

Yale and state organizations have partnered to develop hands-on design projects to keep students engaged in learning while growing skills for the future.
Child building small wooden boat


Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont today launched the Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge, a statewide initiative developed in partnership with Yale and other state organizations that will present students with a series of hands-on design projects to keep them engaged in learning this summer while growing skills for the future. 

Developed with the state Office of Workforce Strategy, the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science, and the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC), the web-based STEM Challenge will help prepare every student to thrive through high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. Each weekly challenge will introduce students to virtual instruction with Yale student organizations and building projects with everyday materials. All Connecticut students in grades 3 through 12 are eligible to participate.

The initiative is part of the governor’s plan to provide students and families with engaging enrichment and learning experiences this summer as the state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the five at-home design challenges, each Monday the governor will launch a new online challenge. Students, who are allowed to participate as individuals or in groups, will have until the following Sunday to complete the challenge. Participants will submit their projects digitally and a panel of expert judges will choose the weekly winners based on creativity and design. The winners of each weekly challenge will receive a prize and, at the close of the five weeks, all the winners will be eligible for one Grand Prize in each category and for participating in all five challenges.

Over the course of the pandemic, so many students missed out on classroom experiences that are essential to their development,” Lamont said. “Our administration is launching the Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge as a way to help them have a stimulating summer and an engaging educational experience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, while at the same time giving our youth experiences that will improve their career opportunities.”

The Challenge will be shared with school districts, municipalities, and many summer camps across the state. Our goal is to engage as many students as possible to excite them about STEM and spark their interest to explore STEM curriculum and careers,” said Chief Workforce Officer Kelli-Marie Vallieres.

Yale University is honored to partner with the state to provide enriching educational opportunities for middle and high school students,” Yale President Peter Salovey said. “The Connecticut Summer STEM Challenge will help young scholars gain an appreciation for STEM, incorporate critical thinking into their studies and lives, and become the next generation of innovators. I am proud that students from Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science are developing challenges for this initiative. They are incredible role models and will demonstrate to the participants what can be achieved through persistence and hard work.”

The Governor’s Summer STEM Challenge is inspired by the work of the Governor’s Workforce Council and came out of a collaboration of a statewide working group of higher education institutions seeking to support education summer enrichment efforts, coordinated in partnership with CCIC. 

The Lamont administration, the Office of Workforce Strategy, and Yale will continue to work toward shared goals of improving STEM opportunities for Connecticut students and to provide the necessary skills for an economy that meets the needs of the 21st century.

More information on the program, including the challenge materials, is available online at the Summer STEM Challenge website.

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Karen N. Peart:, 203-980-2222