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NECC Celebrates STEM Week

Submitted by on October 8, 2020 – 7:49 pm


NECC Celebrate STEM Week

NECC will celebrate STEM Week, Oct 19-23, with a series of events that celebrate STEM fields and careers.

Northern Essex Community College will join educators across the state to celebrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Week, October 19-23, 2020.  The college is planning a series of events, most of which are free and open to the public.

Organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council in partnership with the state’s nine Regional STEM Networks, STEM Week was created to get learners excited about STEM education and STEM careers.  This year’s theme is “See Yourself in STEM”.

At Northern Essex, approximately 15 percent of students are enrolled in one of the college’s 15 STEM programs, which include biology, computer science, engineering, laboratory science, and chemistry, physics, and environmental science.

According to Carolyn Knoepfler, NECC’s dean of STEM, 17 percent of the total Massachusetts workforce or 600,000 people work in STEM occupations, and STEM jobs are expected to increase by 11.2 percent by 2026.  “There are lots of opportunities in the STEM fields, especially for women who are now underrepresented,” said Knoepfler.

Northern Essex STEM Week events, all conducted virtually on Zoom, will include presentations on topics such as COVID-19, the science of bread making, biotechnology, and the field of marine biology and a STEM career panel discussion and career fair.

For more information or to receive Zoom links for any of these programs, please contact Knoepfler at

Here’s a full list of events:

Presentation: The Latest on COVID-19

Tue, Oct. 20, 12:30 to 1:30 pm

Natural Science Professor Sarah Courchesne will share everything you need to know about the pandemic from her perspective as a scientist. Professor Courchesne has her doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Tufts and she joined the faculty at Northern Essex in 2014, teaching chemistry and biology courses.

Career Panel: STEM Fields

Wed, Oct. 21, 12:30 to 1:30 pm

This panel of professionals with careers in STEM will showcase the many opportunities that are open to STEM graduates. The panel will include a doctor, the owner of a vineyard, an engineer, a business information security officer, the president of a networking company, and more. Panelists will also provide tips for students interested in getting a job in a STEM field.

Presentation: “This is What Happens When You Wait Too Long to Talk your Kid Out of Being a Marine Biologist”

Thur, Oct. 22, 1 to 2 pm

Dr. Alex Loureiro, director of Marine Environment and Biology at the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (AIGC), will talk about her career. In her role, she supports the IAGC’s mission to address critical scientific and policy issues related to noise in the marine environment and the impacts on marine life.

Presentation: A Window into Biotechnology

Thur., Oct. 22, 4:30 to 5:30 pm

Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, will share their research. Ultragenyx is committed to bringing products to the market for the treatment of rare and ultra-rare diseases, with a focus on genetic diseases. This presentation is sponsored by Middlesex Community College’s Biotech Learn and Earn Program.

Registration Link: Ultragenyx Virtual Visit

Career Fair: STEM Virtual Hiring Event

Thur., Oct. 22, 4 to 6 pm

This event is for NECC students and alumni only who are looking for full-time, part-time and internship opportunities in STEM fields.

Register here.

For more information, contact Noreen Fantasia, coordinator, Career Services,

Presentation: The Science of Bread

Fri, Oct. 23, 1 to 3 pm

Computer Science Professor Ethel Schuster will demonstrate how to make your own bread.  The presentation will include a commentary on the science behind bread making, including yeast and gluten. A Colombian native, Professor Schuster has a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in computational linguistics and artificial intelligence.

To learn more about STEM Programs at Northern Essex Community College, visit the website  or contact Dean Knoepfler,