KC STEM Alliance

Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS


KC STEM Alliance is part of a national effort to reach young people with ways to engage in science, technology, engineering and math by creating strong community networks. Launched in fall 2015, ecosySTEM KC is a regional initiative powered by KC STEM Alliance that connects a network of schools, out-of-school programs, museums, science centers, higher education institutions, community-based groups, businesses and STEM professional organizations.

The vision of the ecosystem is to create a vibrant STEM-literate community that understands and uses science, technology, engineering and math in meaningful ways to create positive impact in their lives. The mission is to align cross-sector partners to inspire and cultivate a robust STEM workforce and ensure access and equity to quality STEM experiences for all. Core value include seeking to elevate high quality best practices, decreasing duplication of efforts, leveraging community assets and building on partner strengths.

Key Programs

Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathways – Coordinated annual planning process for schools/school districts to develop multi-dimensional STEM plans, as well as identifying common needs to inform the deployment of resources and/or support.

In School STEM Curriculum – Focused support for Project Lead The Way implementation in urban, rural and suburban schools in 9 county area. Over 60,000 students participating in PLTW, K-12. Special attention provided to two primary public school districts in urban core; including support for career academies, teacher professional development and specialized math benchmarking.

Out of School Programming – Focused support for FIRST Robotics teams in the region with all four levels of FIRST, including Jr. Lego League, FIRST Lego League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics. Integration of PLTW Launch curriculum in after-school and STEM-rich institutions. Nationally recognized science center provides a variety of student and family experiences; educator training & resources.

Talent-to-Industry Exchange – Integration into KC Rising initiative; replicable public/private partnerships that bring industry and education together to solve workforce challenges. Focus on: Life Sciences, Global Design sectors. Includes development of industry recognized credentials in bio-informatics.

GradForce KC supports postsecondary education that prepares graduates for jobs in high-demand fields by bringing businesses and educational institutions together. In partnership with the Lumina Foundation, the KC region offers technical and planning assistance, data tools, flexible funding and the ability to customize degree plans that will best suit our community’s needs. Pipeline work includes integration of Common Sector Competencies into in-school and out of school programming.

Girls in Tech & Mentor Makers specifically focus on inspiring more young women to consider careers in technology and STEM. Includes industry sponsored Hour of Code events and ongoing mentoring.

HireKC Youth – Scalable work-based learning and summer employment opportunities targeting at risk youth; integrates LRNG, digital badging and credentialing.

SpeakSTEM – On-line STEM Speaker’s Bureau sponsored by Tech Council.


Lead Partners

  • KC STEM Alliance, Martha McCabe
  • KS Enrichment Network, Marcia Dvorak
  • Mid-America Regional Council, Marlene Nagel, Sheri Gonzales Warren
  • Science City, LeAnn Smith

Leadership Team

  • Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Keith Gary
  • KC Digital Drive, Aaron Deacon
  • KC Public Schools (Missouri), Trinity Davis, Rashawn Caruthers
  • KC Kansas Public Schools, Tim Murrell
  • Kansas City Mayor’s Office, Julie Holland
  • KC Social Innovation Center, Kari Keefe
  • PREP-KC, Susan Wally, Doug Elmer
  • University of Kansas Center for STEM Learning, Steve Case, Katrina Rothrock
  • Workforce Partnership, Keely Schneider

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