Community of Practice
In September 2015, the STEM Funders Network announced their selection of 27 communities to pilot the national STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative. In May 2016, the STEM Funders Network announced the addition of ten ecosystem communities to join the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative followed by another 17 in 2017. This Initiative, built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations, seeks to nurture and scale effective STEM learning opportunities for all young people. The selected sites from across the United States have demonstrated cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning.
What is a Community of Practice?
A community of practice is a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
The theoretical community of practice framework is based on the work of Etienne and Beverly Wenger-Trayner. Seven principles outlined by Wenger-Trayner guide the cultivation of the STEM Learning Ecosystem.
- Design for Evolution
- Open a dialogue between inside and outside perspectives
- Invite different levels of participation
- Develop both public and private community spaces
- Focus on value
- Combine familiar and excitement
- Create a rhythm for the community.
 Wenger, E., McDermott, R. and Snyder, W. M. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
56 STEM Learning Ecosystems make up the Community of Practice.
Community of Practice
- Arizona SciTech Ecosystem (Phoenix, AZ)
- Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network (East Baton Rouge, LA)
- Bay Area STEM Ecosystem (South San Francisco, CA)
- BoSTEM (Boston, MA)
- Bmore STEM (Baltimore, MD)
- Cape Cod Regional STEM Network (Cape Cod, MA)
- Carbon/Schuylkill/Luzerne Counties Ecosystem (Schnecksville, PA)
- Central NM STEM-H Education Hub (Albuquerque, NM)
- Central Oklahoma Regional STEM Alliance (Oklahoma City, OK)
- Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative (Chicago, IL)
- Colorado STEM (Denver, CO)
- Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance (Burlington County, NJ)
- DC STEM Network (Washington, DC)
- East Syracuse Minoa Central School District STEM Learning Ecosystem (East Syracuse, NY)
- ecosySTEM KC (Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS)
- EvanSTEM (Evanston, IL)
- Flagstaff STEM Learning (Flagstaff, AZ)
- Great Lakes Bay Regional STEM Initiative (Freeland, MI)
- Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem (Austin, TX)
- Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (Cincinnati, OH)
- Greater Green Bay STEM Network (Green Bay, WI)
- Indiana STEM Ecosystem Initiative (Indianapolis, IN)
- Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership in Western New York (Buffalo, NY)
- Mayes County STEM Alliance (Mayes County, OK)
- Michigan STEM Partnership Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance (Southeast MI)
- Lancaster County STEM Alliance (Lancaster, PA)
- Liberty STEM Alliance (Hudson County, NJ)
- Los Angeles Regional STEM Hub (Los Angeles, CA)
- Newark STEAM Coalition (Newark, NJ)
- North Country STEM Network (Northern NY)
- North Louisiana STEM Alliance (Shreveport, LA)
- NC STEM Ecosystem: Driving the Future (Research Triangle Park, NC)
- Northeast Florida Regional STEM2 Hub (Jacksonville, FL)
- Northeast Ohio STEM Learning Ecosystem (Cleveland, OH)
- NYC STEM Education Network (New York, NY)
- Omaha STEM Ecosystem (Omaha, NE)
- Orange County STEM Initiative (Corona Del Mar, CA)
- Oregon’s Statewide Regional STEM Hub Network (Salem, OR)
- PA STEM Experiences for Equity and Diversity (SEED) Ecosystem (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery Counties, PA)
- Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem (Philadelphia, PA)
- Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Providence After School Alliance (PASA) STEM Ecosystem (Providence, RI)
- Queens 2020 (Corona, NY)
- Region 5 STEAM (San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey, CA)
- San Diego EcosySTEM (San Diego, CA)
- South Jersey STEM & Innovation Partnership (South Jersey, NJ)
- STEM Guides Downeast (Machias, ME)
- STEM Works East Central Ohio (East Central Ohio)
- St. Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem (St. Louis, MO)
- Symbiosis (British Columbia, Canada)
- Tampa Bay STEM Network (Tampa, FL)
- Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (Tulsa, OK)
- Upper Ohio Valley STEM Cooperative (Saint Clairsville, OH)
- Ventura County STEM Network (Ventura County, CA)
- Washington STEM Network (Washington State)
- WNY STEM (Western NY)
Over the past 5 years, Arizona SciTech has developed one of the nation’s largest celebrations of STEM with 1000+ events throughout Arizona. Developing events that are sustainable, local and culturally responsive, Arizona SciTech has established 20 regional STEM Ecosystems in rural and urban settings that serve as an accessible entry point for diverse stakeholders from education, community, government and industry to co-develop a regional SciTech Festival. Entering its 5th season, aligning with the STEM Ecosystems Initiative will afford Arizona SciTech an important opportunity to join a like-minded national community of practice, enhance, refine and validate existing efforts through technical assistance, co-develop new and transformative initiatives such as the Chief Science Officers and contribute lessons learned to national partners.
The Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network is a dynamic ecosystem dedicated to increasing the number of students graduating from high school possessing requisite STEM skills and knowledge to be college ready and competitive for a 21st century workplace. Facilitated by the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System, the STEM Learning Network seeks to integrate local STEM education programs into a more focused, collaborative approach in ways that increase interest-driven and project-based STEM experiences, career pathways and programs for students, particularly for young people young people historically under-represented in STEM. In addition to establishing a local common vision for STEM education, the Network also offers small-scale funding awards to catalyze and celebrate new innovative learning projects, professional development for educators and a structure for partners stay informed of progress, engage in collaboration and share best practices for driving a “college and career” ready agenda forward.
The Bay Area STEM Ecosystem focuses on increasing equity and access to high quality STEM experiences for all young people in South San Francisco so as to ensure that youth have the background needed to enter the 21st century workforce. The Bay Area Ecosystem supports cross sector collaborations between informal STEM organizations, city agencies, school districts, community based organizations, and industry. Our steering partners include: California Academy of Sciences, Broadcom Foundation, Genentech, and City of South San Francisco Community Learning Center. As our Ecosystem grows and develops, we plan on expanding the reach of this work to surrounding Bay Area communities. For more information please contact Katie Levedahl, KLevedahl@calacademy.org.
BmoreSTEM is a citywide, ecosystem initiative where local industry, philanthropists, educators, and program providers collaborate to create STEM learning experiences and career pathways for Baltimore’s youth. Baltimore is rich in STEM resources and experiences for youth of all ages. Whether it be camps, workshops, competitions, or events, STEM is happening everywhere.
BoSTEM aims to ensure 100% of Boston’s middle school students have the opportunity to participate in expanded STEM learning experiences. These experiences are hands-on learning opportunities involving corporate volunteers, teachers and nonprofit staff that give students the chance to apply math and science skills in exciting, real-world contexts through a combination of activities in both school and out-of-school settings. Today, these hands-on STEM learning opportunities are only available to 6% of Boston students through out-of-school time programming. A partnership between Boston Public Schools (BPS), Citizens Schools, Boston After School & Beyond and United Way, BoSTEM hopes to reach 10,000 BPS middle school students on an annual basis by 2020, providing them all STEM experiences that pique their interest in the STEM fields.
The Cape Cod Regional STEM network brings together educators, school districts, business and industry partners, and community members who share a commitment to inspiring and supporting young people’s interest and achievement in STEM learning and careers. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but it means more than that to us. It’s about learning that draws on math and science concepts, but also incorporates teamwork and makes appropriate use of technology and engineering methodologies. It’s about innovation. We’re building a vibrant STEM learning community, with the skills to excel at school and in the world of work. We are an informal network, welcoming all who share this vision to join us.
Our strategic goals are to: 1. Create opportunities for and a culture of collaboration in order to find places of synergy between different district objectives. 2. Increase student interest and achievement in and access to all STEM areas 3. Increase the percentage of skilled educators who teacher PreK-16 STEM 4. Increase the percentage of students completing post-secondary degrees or certificates in STEM subjects, and align STEM degrees/certificates/interests with opportunity in STEM-related fields and local resources and opportunities in the Cape Cod region.
Located in rural Carbon and Schuylkill Counties, SHINE, established in 2005, is a successful STEM Learning Ecosystem that developed a rural community’s grassroots plan into a seamless network of education services. A total of 15 SHINE Sites are working with a diverse set of partners to provide a rich variety of STEM learning opportunities to children of every age.
The Central New Mexico STEM-H Education Hub’s partners improve STEM experiences and learning in New Mexico through a variety of different methods, including: school-based STEM programs; professional development programs for teachers, pre-service teachers, librarians, out-of- school-time providers, and early childhood educators; internships for middle school, high school, and college students; programs for STEM professionals, like working scientists and engineers; out-of-school-time STEM experiences for children and families; science center and museum exhibits; professional development for informal science education institution staff; mentoring experiences for youth; STEM fairs and festivals; and Maker activities with local business and industry; and STEM network collaboration and facilitation.
COSTEMA’s mission is to inspire students from elementary through high school in the Greater Oklahoma City region through purposeful project-based experiences to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We accomplish our mission by partnering with education organizations, public schools, industry representatives, higher education organizations, career and technical schools, and community based organizations to develop purposeful educational experiences for K-12 students lacking access to STEM education. Our goal includes constructing STEM education programs anchored in innovative, replicable instructional models by incorporating best practices for implementing, assessing, and improving existing programs in order to foster an exceptional workforce which will grow and sustain the economy of Oklahoma.
Learn about their Leadership Academy.
The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative is a citywide effort to improve, identify, and connect opportunities for STEM learning for children and youth in the city of Chicago from cradle to career, regardless of ability or background. Ultimately, informed by shared data, the Cooperative aspires to build instructional leadership amongst partners, ensure access to STEM opportunities for all Chicago young people, and improve quality across programmatic settings. The Cooperative has cross-sector commitment from diverse stakeholders including: the Chicago Public School system; afterschool, out-of-school time, and summer programs; STEM-focused community institutions including museums and science; institutions of higher education; STEM professional associations; private sector STEM-focused companies; and philanthropic foundations.
Colorado STEM is the statewide public-private effort to advance STEM education and opportunities for all Colorado learners in ways that meet company needs. Colorado STEM is a P-20 and workforce effort invested in implementation of the state plan to advance STEM education, the Colorado STEM Education Roadmap. The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) is the backbone organization incubating Colorado STEM. CEI is a nonprofit focused on advancing K-12 public education.
Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance is an ecosystem that is made up of a broad array of partners, both industry leaders, community organizations, and higher education institutions, teachers, parents, pre-school partners, and others: Lockheed Martin, Department of Motor Vehicles, Radwell International, Princetel, Barnes & Noble, PSE&G, Perkins Center for the Arts, Princeton University, The University of Kentucky, Rider University, and Rowan College at Burlington County, to name a few. Our Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance assists students to graduate with STEM knowledge, skills, and applied learning capabilities necessary for success in STEM college education and careers. The Alliance serves 3,000 students in Delran, Burlington County by preparing them to achieve proficiency in STEM fields while supporting educators who teach STEM subjects to ensure they have access to the resources they need. We focus on underlying principles: Pointing girls and historically underrepresented students toward role models in STEM; Seeking out and successfully engaging young people to participate in high-quality, diverse and interconnected STEM learning experiences; Actively engage young people in STEM; Standards for science education; Providing teachers with the tools they need; Showing students that STEM is about trial and error; and Underscoring that STEM careers lead to socially good and meaningful careers.
The DC STEM Network is a collaboration between the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) and the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), launched in 2014. The DC STEM Network unites community partners to help inspire and prepare all DC youth to succeed, lead and innovate in STEM fields and beyond.
The East Syracuse Minoa Central School District (ESM) vision to prepare graduates to excel in this complex, interconnected, changing world is realized through the District’s Strategic Plan. During the past five years, ESM, in partnership with families, local and national businesses, higher education and cultural institutions, museums, government agencies and not for profit organizations (NPO’s) has forged relationships in developing a STEM Learning Ecosystem with innovative learning designs that are aligned with STEM college and career pathways. These synergizing relationships have cultivated cross-sector partnerships and expanded the boundaries of learning for student success in college, career and life.
KC STEM Alliance, Kansas Enrichment Network, Mid-America Regional Council and Science Pioneers, serving as the lead agencies along with 23 other community STEM organizations and business partners, are responsible for engaging the community in the ecosySTEM KC initiative. They will gather additional STEM partners to work with students, educators and families in two urban school districts – Kansas City Public Schools and Kansas City Kansas Public Schools. Kansas City offers a vibrant, active and growing STEM community providing activities and educational opportunities across the area. Many STEM-related organizations already work together well, however a system-wide, seamless structure is yet to evolve. The ecosySTEM KC learning network provides opportunities to establish a clear vision, uniform collaboration and shared outcomes that can be replicated, sustained and be accessible by all youth.
Given that there are approximately 4,000 under-performing and under-represented K-12 students in Evanston’s public schools, the focus of the LENSE is to: (1) Understand how Evanston youth (particularly low-income students) navigate through available out-of school STEM opportunities and how those STEM programs impact academic success using evaluation, long-term youth tracking, and regular meeting of STEM providers; (2) Build new collaborations between teachers, out-of-school providers, and STEM professionals, resulting in novel curricula and activities that extend and enrich classroom and out-of-school learning; and (3) Expand the capacity of STEM educators – both in the classroom and in out-of-school settings-to ensure the targeted populations have access to and are engaged in successful programs.
Flagstaff is a community that was founded on and greatly advanced by science, technology, engineering, and math – from Lowell to W.L. Gore, from forestry to lunar studies and now to its most recent development as a bioscience cluster and an innovation incubator. Our STEM City is built on the foundation of its natural resource setting, including the ecological richness of the Colorado Plateau, the nearby Natural Wonders and its vast open and dark skies. Flagstaff is home to Northern Arizona University, a nationally recognized “high research activity” university that has established global science leadership in forestry, ecology, genomics, climate change research and informatics. Flagstaff schools promote STEM through robotics and other science-based clubs that have garnered statewide, and in some cases national, attention. Flagstaff business and government leadership have actively and financially supported STEM based learning and economic development. Flagstaff is STEM City. With enhanced business school-community coordination, Flagstaff is achieving its true capacity for education greatness, economic success and community vitality.
The Newark STEAM Coalition is a cross-sector collaboration established to create a resource rich ecosystem that prepares Newark students through PreK-16 pathways to fully participate in a 21st century STEM/STEAM workforce. The Coalition’s goal is to develop Newark’s future STEM/STEAM workforce by closing education, access and opportunity gaps through cross sector collaborations between businesses, institutions of higher education, district leadership, youth service providers, science and cultural institutions, and workforce development agencies to align STEAM education with New Jersey’s projected economic growth and global leadership. Newark has strong, engaged, cross sector partners necessary to create and sustain a robust STEAM Ecosystem.
The Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance (GLBRA), a consortium of business, education, and community interests, recognized that the future vitality of its economy was dependent on developing a STEM Talent Pipeline. The STEM Impact Initiative was launched in the Spring of 2014 when GLBRA contracted with Accenture and Innovate+Educate to develop a comprehensive analysis of STEM in the region and develop a strategy with specific recommendations. The final report – entitled “Building a Robust STEM Talent Pipeline in the Great Lakes Bay Region” – identified four sets of key requirements for a high-performing STEM region: • Driven by Employer Demand • Powered by Career and College Ready Students • Focused on Strengthening Technical Skills Needed for the Economy • Sustained by a Culture of STEM.
The Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem will be designed to maximize STEM opportunities for K-12 students to access high-quality STEM learning experiences in multiple settings. We will convene participants to create a dynamic network of high quality resources that engage learners in opportunities leading to a STEM-capable 21st century workforce. We will put systems in place to support education programs that are engaging, responsive, and create a pathway of opportunities.
Greater Cincinnati’s STEM ecosystem was launched by Procter & Gamble and the Strive Partnership (KnowledgeWorks subsidiary) in July, 2011 in response to the accelerating demand for STEM jobs in the greater Cincinnati region. Our ecosystem is led by the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (GCSC), which brings education, community and business partners together to create hands-on, real life, and relevant learning experiences for students. These authentic experiences are proven to grow student interest in and confidence to pursue STEM careers. Our vision is that the Greater Cincinnati, tri-state region has the most robust STEM talent pipeline in the country which is also representative and inclusive of the region’s population.
The Greater Green Bay STEM Network (GGBSN) was formed in 2013. There are over 20 actively participating organizations including a STEM resource center, K-12 schools, higher education, out-of-school-time organizations, a library, two museums, industry partners and funders. There are approximately 20 additional member organizations that contribute when possible and stay informed on current topics.
Indiana has a highly collaborative, cross-sector environment to advance STEM learning during and beyond school hours. Our STEM ecosystem includes more than 200 influential leaders, representing business, K-12 and higher education, youth programs, cultural institutions, government and more collaborating toward a shared vision to expand STEM and career skills for Indiana’s K-12 youth. The Indiana Afterschool Network and our partners will expand our partnerships and resources at state and regional levels, equip more K-12 educators with STEM and career-readiness knowledge, and increase youth access to high quality STEM learning opportunities during and beyond school hours.
The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership (ISEP) is led by the University at Buffalo (UB), SUNY, with core partners the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS), SUNY Buffalo State College (BSC) and the Buffalo Museum of Science. ISEP focuses on critical middle school experiences of students in science and engineering and their transition to high school. The project uses an innovative approach to teacher professional development among high-needs urban schools. ISEP also focuses mentoring and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to connect all participants. PLCs cultivate mentoring between BPS teachers, students and parents, university faculty, professionals, graduate and service-learning undergraduate students.
Liberty STEM Alliance is a renowned community dedicated to enriching STEM opportunities in Hudson County, New Jersey by incorporating all voices, creating pathways, and serving as an information hub with a vast array of resources. We seek to be inclusive of community stakeholders, to ensure that local opportunities match community needs, and make learning fun, engaging, and relevant for students and families. We seek to leverage formal and informal education partnerships, along with other stakeholders, to improve the local portfolio of STEM opportunities. Furthermore, our ecosystem is committed to ensuring that students in PK-12 and beyond are prepared to meet the business and industry needs of the current STEM workforce.
The Los Angeles Regional STEM Hub seeks to connect the region’s leading professionals and educators in an effort to expand student access to high-quality STEM learning, including critical thinking and the arts (STEAM), education and provide sustainable models for 21st century workforce and skills development. The Hub seeks to leverage Los Angeles’ resources and significant civic institutions to develop further capacity for system wide transformation of STEM education. By bringing together groups utilizing a collective impact model across the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors, we’re working to align our education systems towards student success.
The Mayes County STEM Alliance is a collaborative initiative designed to ensure that youth in this rural northeast Oklahoma community have opportunities and resources available to them to discover and develop STEM related talents that are aligned with local educational and career pathway opportunities. The Alliance is comprised of five public school districts, area employers, business professionals, subject matter experts, post-secondary education institutions, state and tribal agencies and is coordinated by MidAmerica Industrial Park’s workforce development program, MidAmerica Delivers. The Mayes County STEM Alliance works to create a system that is inclusive of all youth, has diverse offerings and is relevant to today’s STEM requirements in the workplace.
The Michigan STEM Partnership Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance is dedicated to providing connections and communications between employers, educators, students & parents, community / professional organizations, & policymakers, to ensure the growth, effectiveness and sustainability of STEM education and talent development in southeast Michigan. Through a collective effort and common agenda, a cross sector alliance of organizations will develop research-based strategies, leverage resources, and drive system-wide change efforts that provide STEM enriching environments and student success.
NC STEM Ecosystem: Driving the Future is a collaborative effort focused initially on eastern NC with support from the NC Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center, the NC STEM Learning Network and other STEM organizations and school districts. Based on the foundation of the NC STEM Learning Network, the NC STEM Ecosystem plans to nurture, enable, and encourage STEM education projects in rural eastern North Carolina. The NC STEM Learning Network helps ensure that all North Carolina students are career and college ready by engaging in rigorous and relevant STEM education. NC STEM does this by guiding implementation of the state’s coordinated STEM Strategy to increase student achievement in STEM, creating greater public support for STEM education, and building the resources necessary to make North Carolina’s STEM education the best in the country. NC STEM has developed STEM Attributes and an Implementation Rubric to assist schools and programs to become a quality STEM school or program. A STEM portal provides access to STEM resources and a STEM Scorecard provides benchmarks for STEM in North Carolina.
The North Country STEM Network, founded in 2012, serves the seven northern-most counties of New York State, and is one of 10 regional Empire State Learning Networks. Its Mission is to energize and focus community resources to design, develop, implement and demonstrate innovative, sustainable, and transferable STEM learning experiences for economic vitality and exceptional quality of life. This Mission is articulated through agree-upon goals and objectives in four focus areas: students, educators, economic development and communication. To assure strong communication and foster collaboration and innovation among all community partners, the Network is organized into three regional hubs, each with local leadership. The Network is governed by a Steering Committee composed of representatives from public schools, higher education, business and industry, workforce development, out-of-school programs, and regional hub leaders. The annual STEM Champion Awards recognize outstanding contributions by K-12 educators, higher education, and community partners. The North Country STEM Network website is www.northcountrystem.org.
The North Louisiana STEM Alliance is made up of Sci-Port Discovery Center, the Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana, Shreve Memorial Library, R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Starbase Louisiana, Volunteers of America North Louisiana, Coalition of Out of School Time Services (COSTS), Community Foundation of North Louisiana, Step Forward, Bossier Parish Public Schools, Caddo Parish Public Schools, Alt3D Tech, Capital One Bank, Cohab, U.S. Forest Service, Cyber Innovation Center, Children&Families – LA Center, Learning RX of Shreveport-Bossier, Homeschool Helpers, Bossier Parish Community College and Centenary College.
The initiative focuses on bringing all learning platforms together, from PreK through higher education, including the workforce, to ensure all people have equal access and opportunity to succeed in the STEM fields.
The Northeast Florida Regional STEM2Hub (The STEM2 Hub) is a not-for-profit entity solely dedicated to accelerating the growth of STEM2 initiatives (and measured outcomes) in the Northeast Florida region. We convene, inspire, and invest in the STEM2 field by providing the essential missing elements to accelerate the growth of STEM2education and careers.
The Northeast Ohio STEM Learning Ecosystem is building on a positive momentum of change we see in Cleveland and its surrounding region. Our ecosystem is an emerging practice but we are building upon a number of successful education collaborations. Our committed ecosystem partners includes schools, corporations, non-profit start ups, afterschool providers, local funders, universities, and STEM-expert organizations such as science centers and other types of museums. We recognize the need to address a set of pressing questions that will refine the make up and goals of our effort. Most of all, we share a belief in the resilience of our community and the great need for equitable access to high-quality STEM experiences for all learners.
The NYC STEM Education Network builds on a strong collaboration of city agencies, youth development and education-focused organizations, museums and cultural institutions, higher education institutions, and long-term private funders. The Network has developed cross-sector collaborations to make the city’s rich array of STEM learning opportunities more accessible to young people and to build the capacity of after-school programs to deliver STEM. The Network creates links to other sub-components of our city’s STEM ecosystem, such as NYC Urban Advantage, the NYC Hive Network, Queens 2020 and the STEM Educators Academy.
The Omaha STEM Ecosystem envisions a community where all young people, especially those underrepresented in STEM industries, will have the opportunities needed to be successful in learning scientific thinking, examining potential career paths, and exploring opportunities to extend their educational achievements. We believe our vision will be supported by Omaha’s robust academic and business community, which will join in providing hands-on learning and internship opportunities to enhance STEM educational experiences.
The Orange County STEM Initiative (OC STEM) is a growing network of Orange County funders who actively collaborate with community stakeholders to support and promote high quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education in Orange County, CA. OC STEM provides professional development, student programs, a workforce development platform and communication on STEM education to help improve outcomes for STEM programs in Early Learning/Preschool, K-12, after school, informal science centers and expanded learning programs throughout the region. One of OC STEM’s overarching goals is to create 27 community STEM Ecosystems in Orange County which will allow this collaborative concept to grow up from the grass-roots level and have a direct impact on students.
Oregon’s Statewide Regional STEM Hub Network is a large-scale ecosystem that embraces the notion that education is a collective responsibility and that learning takes place throughout one’s life in all manner of settings and interactions. Oregon has invested in the establishment and support of a network of regional collective impact partnerships that bring together local leaders and programs from K-12, post-secondary, out-of-school programs, business & industry, workforce, economic development, civic leaders, community-based organizations, STEM-rich institutions and families.
PA STEM Experiences for Equity and Diversity (SEED) Ecosystem (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery Counties, NJ)
PA STEM Experiences for Equity and Diversity (SEED) Ecosystem is a collaborative between school districts, libraries, Intermediate Units, post-secondary institutions, and environmental education centers along with growing public/private partnerships like those forged with the United Way, Chester County Economic Development Council (CCED) or Corbett Incorporated. The STEM Learning Ecosystem spans four counties is focused on collectively leveraging resources to ensure all students in the region have robust STEM experiences P-20. With over 300,000 STEM related jobs in Pennsylvania by 2018, 17,000 vacant computer science jobs, and employers clamoring for a workforce that has problem solving communication, and computational thinking skills the STEM Learning Ecosystem will help generate STEM pathways for students. Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Intermediate Units build the foundation for the STEM Ecosystem. The Intermediate Units’ experience providing professional learning across the continuum of school professionals along with technical assistance from district to classroom level allows for an understanding of the opportunities within the region. With over 25 private, NGO, and/or philanthropic partners, 15 post-secondary partners and support from the Pennsylvania Department of Education the Intermediate Units collectively offer a suite of STEM educational services that act as the foundation for a STEM Learning Ecosystem.
Philadelphia is city rich in STEM resources that include employers, museums and educational centers, innovative out-of-school time programs, strong in-school teachers, and a broad network of institutions of higher education. Still, many students leave school unprepared for their next steps. The goal of the Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem is to empower students to trust their questions, think analytically to solve problems, and succeed in STEM subjects. Through the collaboration of our partners we aim foster and build upon the successful STEM learning throughout the Philadelphia region.
The Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem seeks to understand the STEM learning landscape within a 5-county region surrounding the City of Pittsburgh. The partners within this initiative include the Remake Learning Council, Chevron U.S., Carnegie Science Center, Carnegie Mellon University, ASSET STEM Education, Public Education representatives, the YMCA, and Junior Achievement. Our region has strong partners and experts adept at STEM education programming, professional development, and business partnerships. We seek to develop a collaborative Regional Vision, Goals and Metrics for continuous improvement, based on an understanding of regional gaps targeted at underserved communities. We additionally, seek to articulate the youth STEM pathway between formal and informal experiences.
The Providence After School Alliance’s STEM Ecosystem consists of a team of informal community educators, middle school math and science teachers, district curriculum heads, STEM related businesses serving on PASA’s Business Engagement committee, the Rhode Island STEM Center, faculty from RI College’s School of Education, and faculty from the University of Rhode Island. The primary focus of our STEM Ecosystem is to help improve STEM inquiry practices in Providence’s middle school summer STEM program and transfer lessons learned to PASA’s middle and high school after school systems.
Queens 2020 is a community-based STEM Learning Ecosystem dedicated to transforming STEM learning opportunities and outcomes for young people. This model initiative will be co-designed with educational and community leaders from our local community, and will involve a multifaceted program of work that engages children and their families in creative STEM learning, develops STEM resources for teachers and students in schools, builds out-of-school STEM opportunities that respond to community needs, and supports meaningful STEM learning opportunities for high school and college students. Queens 2020 brings together a diverse set of partners who are invested in a shared vision for STEM learning.
The Region 5 STEAM in Expanded Learning Ecosystem unites a diverse group of regional cross sector partners who develop and implement a comprehensive system of support and resources that cultivate high quality, integrative and engaging STEAM learning opportunities for underserved, low-socioeconomic youth, grades TK-12th. We ignite passion, develop growth mindsets, improve self-efficacy, and inspire the students and staff to be prepared for college, career and life. Through the purposeful engagement of our visionary leader partners, our Region 5 STEAM Ecosystem strives to continuously connect important initiatives across disciplines that promote collaboration and drive important student pathways to STEM related careers. We passionately believe that integration and coherence among K-12 Education, Expanded Learning, Museum, Higher Education, Business and other Public/Private systems can truly accomplish more collectively than any one system can alone.
San Diego is well-known for its STEM-rich community. The San Diego EcosySTEM will mobilize new and existing stakeholders to collaborate across sectors so that youth will experience connected STEM learning. We will capitalize on the strong foundation that we have built throughout the community, strengthen our efforts, and build our momentum. The partners in San Diego EcosySTEM will work collaboratively to strengthen our STEM network, connect discrete STEM learning networks, map STEM assets in the San Diego Region, and share and implement the previously developed STEM Quality Criteria Rubric.
New Jersey STEM Pathways Network selected South Jersey as one of four communities to participate in a statewide campaign to reimagine STEM learning and prepare New Jersey’s future workforce for STEM fields. From this initiative, the South Jersey STEM & Innovation Partnership arose. The South Jersey STEM & Innovation Partnership (SJSIP) is a collective effort to improve STEM education and opportunity across southern New Jersey. The founding partners include the Camden Dream Center, Camden County College and Salem Community College. A growing list of key expert collaborators – representing industry, post-secondary education, K-12 schools, philanthropy, small businesses and STEM-related organizations – will be engaged. The Partnership’s goal is to grow and align assets and efforts to develop, implement, replicate and take to scale evidence-based innovations that will better prepare all learners within the region for the 21st Century’s rapidly evolving STEM economy.
Stem Works East Central Ohio is an emerging initiative championed by The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology, The Works’ STEM Advisory Council, and public-private partnerships. Representatives from diverse stakeholder groups support STEM Works ECO, including government, private industry, the philanthropic sector, preK-12 education, postsecondary education, career-technical education, the nonprofit sector, and families. Shared goals include addressing the STEM skills gap and improving access to relevant STEM education for careers across the region. The Works, the STEM Advisory Council, and the Education Advisory Committee support a model for a STEM ecosystem that encompasses six counties selected because of location, education and unemployment challenges, and limited access to out-of-school STEM opportunities. The impetus to expand our ecosystem to these counties is grounded in practice, a history of partnerships, and the potential to cultivate new relationships. STEM Works ECO has a strong foundation, and our ecosystem is now ready to move forward to create and support a cradle-to-career STEM network in east central Ohio.
The St. Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem is a collaborative consortium committed to equitable access to high-quality STEM learning for all students in the St. Louis metro region. By uniting community stakeholders, both in-school and out-of-school, along defined pathways from early learning to education to workforce, the St. Louis STEM Ecosystem will foster systemic change in the region by: 1) Building a Regional Culture of STEM Learning, 2) Enhancing In-Class STEM Education, 3) Ensuring In-Class Learning is Aligned with Quality and Accessible Out-of-Class STEM experiences, and 4) Linking STEM Learning with College and Career Opportunities. With a youth-centered focus and a commitment to transparency, information sharing, data-driven decision-making, and continuous improvement, the Ecosystem will advance regional STEM collaboration beyond networking and cooperation toward a common vision and agenda, shared planning and measurement, mutually reinforcing activities, and continuous communication that deepens students’ engagement with STEM and prepares them to live and thrive in a globally connected, technology-driven world.
Symbiosis, a British Columbia-based STEAM learning ecosystem (the “A” added for art and design), will foster cross-sector collaborations spanning formal and informal learning while focusing on three deliverables: 1) dramatically increasing the number of qualified STEAM mentors; 2) connecting mentors and organizations within local communities; and 3) generating a digital hub that will interconnect communities, host a library of learning resources, and facilitate the pursuit of diverse pathways for youth. Our vision is that within five years, every child in British Columbia—regardless of geographic location, ethnic background or family income—will have access to this interlinked web of STEAM learning opportunities.
The goal of the Tampa Bay STEM Network is to directly impact underprivileged and underrepresented youth through a formal network with agreed upon goals and deliverables, which include, but are not limited to: access to and success within a PK-16 STEM pipeline for students and onboarding/expansion plan for the network to include other existing and new partners. Ultimately the Tampa Bay STEM Network strives to create an educational ecosystem with a high profile and recognizable name, mission, and vision which will assist the Tampa Bay area in becoming a nationally recognized hub for innovation and technology. This will lead to an increase in the overall health of the local STEM community and provide rich opportunities for HCPS students as they graduate school.
In 2013, the Oklahoma Innovation Institute (a 501c3 organization founded in 2006) launched the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA). Today, TRSA is a dynamic mesh network of business, higher education, K-12, philanthropy, government, and community organizations focused on building broad, deep, and innovative pathways for students to access high-impact STEM careers. TRSA is a neutral convener and facilitator of a collaborative alliance of more than 80+ partner organizations. TRSA accomplishes its mission through transformational work in communication, collaboration, cultivation, and calculation of STEM education work.
We are proposing the emergence of a STEM Learning Ecosystem which builds on developing or established activities and relationships with the K-12 and higher education institutions in the Saint Clairsville area. Educational institutions include Belmont College, Belmont-Harrison Career Center, Ohio University Eastern, Saint Clairsville Richland School District and Union Local School District. Additional stakeholders in the Belmont County Community Improvement Corporation (private non-profit economic development agency) and corporate partners from the two leading industries in the region, energy and health. The shared vision can be summarized with the title “Making Math Real: Connections to the Future”. The objective will be to foster interest in mathematics through its application to project based STEM learning activities in a variety of subjects; for example, robotics, GPS tracking; 3D printing; engineering, science and health labs; historical reconstruction; gaming and animation and drone technology. Our initial overall design is to share and coordinate existing resources and expertise, develop a base of student interest through school clubs and teacher/mentors, provide project-based STEM learning activities and culminate with a science/math fair.
The leaders of the Ventura County STEM (VC STEM) ecosystem reflect the roots of this diverse agricultural community. They can be described as essential: salt of the earth, modest and unendingly hard working. This community has historically been an epicenter for STEM-related endeavors (oil industry, biotechnology, agricultural innovations, and manufacturing) with key industries that are primed for traditional and non-traditional career pathways. We bring our community culture of collaboration and innovation and seek to intentionally learn fast by learning together. Ventura County is a natural fit to become a hub of innovation in STEM teaching and learning. VC STEM’s vision is that all P-20 students in Ventura County benefit from high-quality STEM learning opportunities, graduate with the STEM knowledge, skills, and applied learning capabilities necessary for success in STEM and non-STEM college education and careers, and possess the STEM knowledge, skills and awareness to positively impact our region, nation and the world.
Washington STEM serves a powerful role as a backbone organization, convener, and catalyst for STEM education and workforce initiatives. Washington STEM invests in regional STEM Networks and strategic partnerships to spread effective practices across the state, helps expose students to the STEM career opportunities in their own community, and advocates for statewide policy change. Washington STEM’s ten regional STEM Networks, or the Washington STEM Network, serve 57 percent of Washington’s K-12 students. Each STEM Network includes education, business, and community-based organizations. The lead organization and fiscal agent varies by community and include Chambers of Commerce, a community college, regional educational service districts, and nonprofits. Washington STEM supports its STEM Networks to develop results-driven business plans and provides implementation funds matched 1:1 by each local community. As a critical part of our work, Washington STEM is forging formal partnerships with statewide organizations with aligned missions in order to leverage and coordinate complementary areas of expertise and functions and accelerate statewide impact. Partners to date include Code.org, LASER, TEALS, Thrive Washington, Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, School’s Out Washington, and Washington MESA.
WNY STEM Hub is a regional ecosystem sharing the same five counties with the Western New York Economic Development Council. We facilitate awareness and partnerships that advance stem learning and workforce development. This is achieved by providing events, learning experiences, services and resources through collaboration of our extensive network of cross-sector members and partners. WNY STEM Hub is a nonprofit serving as an initiative of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County and the UB Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences.