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Strategy One

These four strategies were developed in consultation with a variety of practitioners across the country who are at the forefront of efforts to cultivate STEM Learning Ecosystems.

Cultivating Cross-Sector Partnerships

This first strategy is foundational—assessing gaps, identifying partners and determining collective goals creates a strong base from which to engage in creative approaches to the remaining three strategies that are based on each community’s needs, assets and interests.Robust cross-sector partnerships designed to create a collective vision of STEM success for young people are key to cultivating a rich STEM learning ecosystem.

To cultivate cross-sector partnerships, STEM Ecosystems can:

  • Identify a credible, highly engaged lead organization committed to collaborative practice.
  • Engage a broad range of stakeholders including:
    • Schools/school districts
    • Stakeholders_3_01_16Out-of-school time (OST) systems/ programs
    • STEM-expert museums and science centers
    • Institutions of higher education
    • STEM-focused companies
    • Businesses that recognize the need for STEM competencies
    • STEM professional organizations
    • Libraries
    • Community-based organizations
    • Philanthropies
    • Families and parent organizations
    • Youth organizations and advisory groups
  • Assess the community’s dynamics and readiness to engage in collaborative work.
  • Define the current landscape, and identify priority gaps in access, quality and outcomes for young people’s STEM success.
  • Develop an overall vision and goals.
  • Define what each stakeholder will do to achieve those goals.
  • Work on defining and using common language.
  • Discuss and adopt shared measurements.
  • Create and implement financing and policy strategies for scale and sustainability.
  • Develop and implement a communications strategy.
  • Plan specific approaches to continuous improvement. How will the use of data drive increased quality in all programmatic settings?
  • Prioritize time for reflection and peer learning.