The STEM Funders Network (SFN) announced today the 27 communities selected to pilot the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative. This project, built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations, seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people. The selected sites from across the United States have committed to collaborate and share their work towards this common vision.
“These innovative communities are providing STEM learning opportunities for millions of young people both in- and out-of-school,” said SFN co-chairs Gerald Solomon, executive director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, executive director, Noyce Foundation. “It is an initiative to design the kind of infrastructure that ensures STEM learning is truly ‘everywhere’ and is a top priority for communities supporting youth to develop the skills and knowledge they need for success in a global workforce.”
The 27 communities in the initial cohort of a national Community of Practice have demonstrated cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning. These collaborations happen in schools and beyond the classroom—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical. They spark young people’s engagement, develop their knowledge, strengthen their persistence and nurture their sense of identity and belonging in STEM disciplines. As these STEM Ecosystems evolve, a student will be able to connect what they learn in and out of school with real-world learning opportunities, leading to STEM related careers and opportunities.
Launched in Denver at the Clinton Global Initiative, the STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative will form a national Community of Practice with expert coaching and support from leaders such as superintendents, scientists, industry and others. The first gathering of this Community of Practice will be hosted at the White House in November.
“We are thrilled we’ve been selected to join this initiative and the Community of Practice,” said Linda Christopher, executive director, OC STEM Initiative. “With the support of the STEM Funders Network and our colleagues building STEM learning ecosystems across the United States, we will be able to extend our impact within our community even further.”
The following sites were selected from an invited pool of 70+ applicants to join the STEM Ecosystems Initiative’s first cohort creating a national STEM Community of Practice:
- Arizona SciTech Ecosystem (Phoenix, AZ)
- Bay Area STEM Ecosystem (San Jose, CA)
- BoSTEM (Boston, MA)
- Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative (Chicago, IL)
- Colorado STEM (Denver, CO)
- East Syracuse Minoa Central School District STEM Learning Ecosystem (East Syracuse, NY)
- ecosySTEM KC (Kansas City, MO)
- Great Lakes Bay Regional STEM Initiative (Freeland, MI)
- Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem (Austin, TX)
- Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (Cincinnati, OH)
- Indiana STEM Ecosystem Initiative (Indianapolis, IN)
- Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership in Western New York (Buffalo, NY)
- Learning Ecology Network of STEM in Evanston (Evanston, IL)
- Los Angeles Regional STEM Hub (Los Angeles, CA)
- NC STEM Ecosystem: Driving the Future (Research Triangle Park, NC)
- Northeast Ohio STEM Learning Ecosystem (Cleveland, OH)
- NYC STEM Education Network (New York, NY)
- Orange County STEM Initiative (Corona Del Mar, CA)
- Oregon’s Statewide Regional STEM Hub Network (Salem, OR)
- Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Providence After School Alliance (PASA) AfterZone STEM – FUSE Initiative (Providence, RI)
- Queens 2020 (Corona, NY)
- San Diego EcosySTEM (San Diego, CA)
- STEMcityPHL Regional Network (Conshohocken, PA)
- Tampa Bay STEM Network (Tampa, FL)
- Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (Tulsa, OK)
- Ventura County STEM Regional Network (Learning Ecosystem, Camarillo, CA)
Learn more about the initiative at stemecosystems.org.
About the STEM Funders Network: The SFN was formed in 2011 by a small group of funders from the Grant Makers for Education community to focus attention and better coordinate funding in support of robust STEM programs across the country. The SFN members fund individually as well as collectively and their work has supported the adoption and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in all 50 states as well as dozens of STEM programs of promise.
STEM Ecosystems funding members of the STEM Funders Network include: Samueli Foundation, Noyce Foundation, Overdeck Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, and Simons Foundation with support by Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, KDK Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation and Tiger Woods Foundation.
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