In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.

In today’s edition – Tuesday, October 20 – watch QCC's H.A.C.E Awards today, there's three free COVID-19 testing fairs this week, it's STEM week in Massachusetts, there's a Worcester Chamber Music Society concert on October 22 and gas prices are down again this week in Massachusetts.


Watch the 35th Annual H.A.C.E Awards

Quinsigamond Community College will be host to the 35th Hispanics Achieving and Celebrating Excellence (H.A.C.E) Youth Awards. This year’s awards will be held virtually and honor the achievements of public and private Worcester and Southbridge Latino high school students in the areas of Academics, Leadership, Arts and Athletics.

The keynote speaker will be motivational speaker Jorge Sierra.

Additional guest speakers include:

The ceremony is available to watch virtually from 5:30 PM to 7:15 PM.


Free COVID-19 Testing in Worcester This Week

Free masks and hand sanitizer provided and the following free testing sites. Flu shots are available with insurance.


It's STEM Week in Massachusetts

Governor Charlie Baker kicked off the third annual STEM week in Massachusetts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday.

This year, the STEM Advisory Council has partnered with the Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership to highlight the importance of mentoring, supporting, and identifying with underrepresented youth, particularly girls and students of color, in STEM fields and careers.

This year, the STEM Advisory Council coordinated with seven organizations across the state to offer options for STEM-focused Design Challenges. Each challenge includes professional development for teachers prior to STEM Week, and STEM-focused activities, curriculum, and engaging challenges during STEM Week that can be accessed virtually, in-person, or through a hybrid model.

Design Challenge partners include:

Learn more at the Mass STEM Week Website.


The Worcester Chamber Music Society Concert October 22

The Worcester Chamber Music Society [WCMS] presents its second of four live-streamed “Spotlight” concerts on Thursday evenings this fall, beginning October22, at 7:30 PM.

The performance will include Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata for cello
and piano; Theme and Variations of Trockne Blümen for flute and piano; and
Impromptu Op. 90, nos. 2, 3, & 4 for piano.

The performance will be live-streamed from Shapiro Hall at Joy of Music and available on-demand October 24 through October 29.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $18 for households, $5 for students, free for EBT/WIC cardholders and youth 17 and under. Learn more at


Gas Prices this Week

AAA Northeast, the popular not-for-profit auto club, reports changes in gas prices across the region on a weekly basis.

Massachusetts’s average gas price decreased one cent from last week ($2.11), averaging $2.10 per gallon. That price is the two cents lower than a month ago ($2.12), and 46 cents cheaper than September 28, 2019 ($2.567).

Massachusetts’s average gas price is six cents lower than the national average.

AAA Northeast’s October 19 survey of fuel prices found the current national average to be two cents lower than last week, averaging $2.16 a gallon. Today’s national average price is 4 cents lower than a month ago ($2.18), and 49 cents cheaper than this day last year ($2.65).

Comparison to neighboring states, according to AAA Northeast:

Region Current Price One Week Ago One Month Ago One Year Ago
Massachusetts $2.10 $2.11 $2.12 $2.56
Rhode Island $2.12 $2.13 $2.14 $2.50
Connecticut $2.17 $2.18 $2.19 $2.66
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