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Education Partnership Agreement fosters STEM collaboration

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A recently signed Education Partnership Agreement between Hanscom and the Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District clears the way for new science, technology, engineering and math-based educational collaboration opportunities.

The three-year agreement enables the Air Force Life Cycle Management programs at Hanscom and Minuteman to work together on STEM-focused education, research and workforce development projects.

Col. Roman Hund, Hanscom AFB installation commander, explained the new agreement is a direct result of the Hanscom Community Partnership Committee, whose main charge is identifying and establishing mutually beneficial partnerships between the base and local communities.

“This is the first such agreement we’ve executed with one of the high schools in the region,” he said. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with Minuteman for many years ahead.”

Several collaboration opportunities are already being considered by the school and the base, including possible internship and co-op opportunities for Minuteman students.

“With this partnership agreement in place and Minuteman students more aware of job opportunities here, we anticipate students will be interested in Hanscom as a potential employer,” said Donna Desimas, 66th Force Support Squadron Civilian Personnel officer. “This will greatly benefit Hanscom in developing our future workforce.”

Steven Sharek, director of Outreach and Development at Minuteman Regional High School, also sees potential job opportunities for Minuteman students as a key benefit of the agreement.

In addition to enhancing potential career path options for the high school’s students, the agreement will also offer Hanscom personnel increased training options and a chance to volunteer in the local community.

“The agreement will give Hanscom personnel greater access to adult workforce training programs offered at Minuteman,” said Sharek. “We hope that it will also result in Hanscom personnel serving on some of our Program Advisory Committees and that personnel from Hanscom will serve as mentors for our students, particularly for students in STEM-related fields.”

The agreement will also increase educational collaboration opportunities for Hansom’s STARBASE Academy, which focuses on inspiring elementary students to explore science, technology, engineering and math, said director Peter Holden.

“We’ve been looking forward to the next phase of our operations – the creation of mentored STEM clubs at schools in the Hanscom region,” Holden said. “We had very encouraging and productive discussions with Minuteman Tech about setting up robotics clubs. I expect the new Educational Partnership Agreement will facilitate working together and help fast track our efforts to expand STEM opportunities for students.”