STEM Learning Ecosystems Overview

The STEM Ecosystems Initiative is built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations, and seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people.

Launched in Denver at the Clinton Global Initiative, the STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative forms a National Community of Practice with expert coaching and support from leaders such as superintendents, scientists, industry and others.

The 89 communities selected from across the world compose a global Community of Practice and 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.

Initiative Goals

  • Build out a Community of Practice comprised of local, regional and state STEM Learning Ecosystems from across the country. Ecosystems will encompass preK-16 schools; community settings such as after-school and summer programs; institutions of higher education; STEM-expert organizations such as science centers, museums, corporations, intermediary and non-profit organizations or professional associations; businesses; funders; and informal experiences at home and in a variety of environments.
  • Support communities in the design and cultivation of STEM Learning Ecosystems through expert coaching provided by TIES (Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM).
  • Support selected STEM Learning Ecosystems to participate in a Community of Practice to share successes, challenges and opportunities for growth.
  • Inform the STEM education field about the importance of creating connected STEM-rich learning opportunities for children, youth and their families across the educational continuum from preschool through higher education and workforce.

Initiative Approach

Since 2015, the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative has cultivated and supported local, regional and state STEM Learning Ecosystems from across the globe.

The Initiative is designed for communities to become an active member within a national network of their peers and STEM leaders.

Membership to the Community of Practice includes national convenings, webinars, and an online community and is built to encourage peer-to-peer support and mentoring.

To support the design and cultivation of the STEM Learning Ecosystems across the globe, all participating STEM Ecosystems receive coaching and peer-mentoring plus have access to tools, assessments and resources.

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