When it comes to STEM learning, how can we help all young people reach their full potential?
What Are STEM Learning Ecosystems?
STEM Learning Ecosystems provide the architecture for cross-sector learning, offering all young people access to STEM-rich learning environments so they can develop important skills and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math throughout preK-16.
Strong STEM Learning Ecosystems feature dynamic collaborations among schools, out-of-school time programs, STEM expert institutions (such as museums, science centers, institutions of higher education and STEM professional associations), the private sector, community-based organizations, youth and families.
CULTIVATING ECOSYSTEMS: LESSONS LEARNED IN YEAR ONE:
Cultivating STEM Learning Ecosystems means collaborating across sectors in new and creative ways to increase equity, quality and STEM learning outcomes for all.
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Every young person should have access to a rich ecosystem of connected learning opportunities, in and out-of-school.
Rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and learning beyond the classroom—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical—sparks young people’s engagement, develops their knowledge, strengthens their persistence and nurtures their sense of identity and belonging in the STEM disciplines. Yet socioeconomic, linguistic, racial/ethnic, gender and other barriers too often prevent young people from accessing learning opportunities across all these settings.
What if communities tried a new strategy to ensure all young people reach their potential in STEM? Twenty seven communities across the United States demonstrating strong cross-sector collaborations were selected for the initial cohort of the STEM Ecosystems Initiative’s national Community of Practice.