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STEM Learning Ecosystems Aligned to U.S. Department of Education’s ‘YOU Belong in STEM’ Initiative



Series of STEM Awareness Activities Planned

US Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, SLECOP, has planned a series of STEM awareness building activities in connection with the U.S. Department of Education’s newly released “YOU Belong in STEM initiative.”

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten today shared plans to “galvanize the broad STEM ecosystem to implement and scale equitable and high-quality STEM education for all young people from Pre-K to higher education.”

The SLECoP, a 100-community initiative that unites partners from business and industry, formal and informal education, government and non-profits to improve STEM learning for all, is fully aligned with the U.S. Department of Education’s plans and efforts to support and broaden participation in STEM. The SLECOP, now in its eighth year, will be mobilizing its network of Ecosystems to challenge narratives about who belongs in STEM.

The goals of YOU Belong in STEM and activities of the STEM Learning Ecosystems are to illustrate that STEM needs and welcomes women, students of color, students living in poverty, Native American and Alaska Native students, students with disabilities and other marginalized students. 

“We are delighted that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized the power of STEM and the vital role it plays in our communities, our economy and the lives of students and families,” said Jan Morrison, founder and president of TIES, which serves as the backbone organization for the SLECoP. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to support this important initiative.”

The SLECoP activities will kick off Tuesday, November 8 (Nov 8 – Innovate) which is National STEM Day

Call to Action:

All STEM Ecosystems are invited to celebrate the theme #YouBelongInSTEM the week of Nov 8th – November 14th.

All STEM Ecosystems are encouraged to:

  1. Light up social media (blogs, podcasts, tiktok, twitter, facebook, instagram)  – showcasing the ways your STEM Ecosystem helps students feel a sense of belonging in STEM #YouBelongInSTEM
  2. Collaborate with STEM Ecosystem partners to bring intentional, sustainable and long lasting focus to the following in STEM:

Include – Invite all students and educators to participate in world class STEM education to prep them and our country for the future

Enfold – Embrace all students in STEM so that they don’t just have access to STEM but experience equitable impact in STEM 

Engage – Listen to students and educators in STEM. Learn from their perspectives and interests. Help them to develop a deep sense of belonging in STEM.

Inspire – Empower students to not only feel a part, but move beyond to developing an identity in STEM. Help them to become captivated by the promise and power of STEM. Support them in the journey from being a part of the group to being a champion of STEM

Celebrate – Enjoy and showcase the work, dreams, failures and process of STEM in the lives of students, educators and communities to foster a sense of belonging in STEM

  1. Explore a fresh approach to fostering a sense of belonging in STEM by choosing one or more ideas from our #YouBelongInSTEM Playlist: