Arkansas STEM Ecosystem
Since 2010, the Arkansas STEM Coalition has served as a convener and catalyst for quality STEM education and career connected learning in Arkansas. As the backbone organization for the Arkansas STEM Ecosystem Initiative, the STEM Coalition brings together cross-sector partners to fulfill the vision that Arkansas is a state where all people have equal access and opportunity to engage in quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning experiences that increase their ability to succeed in education, career, and community, leading to a vibrant and dynamic economy. Key priorities of the Arkansas STEM ecosystem include the development of innovative collaborations and partnerships across sectors to support STEM education and ensure effective coordination of STEM and workforce initiatives; identification of current STEM programs, resources, and assets available across the state; and increased awareness of the critical need for high quality STEM programs and access to STEM resources.
Programs of the Arkansas STEM Coalition and ecosystem partners focus on linking leaders from institutions of higher education, business and industry, K12 public and private schools, and Out-of-School Time to professional development, best practices and resources and engaging students and adults of all ages in hands-on quality driven and connected STEM learning opportunities. The Arkansas STEM Coalition works with the state’s network of 12 University STEM Centers to administer programs such as: STEM Girls Leadership Conferences: Conferences for girls in 7th – 12th grade held on university campuses across the state. Girls explore STEM based fields of study, careers, and connect with professionals while engaging in hands-on learning programs throughout the day. Health Sciences Career Tech Days: Conferences for 8th grade students focused on increasing students’ interest and engagement in Health Sciences careers. Students are introduced to nontraditional Health Science careers and encouraged to consider these careers and prepare by taking more advanced math/ science courses in middle and high school. Science Equipment for grades 3-6: Grants to support the purchase of science equipment for 3rd – 6th grade students are distributed to the 12 statewide STEM Centers. The Centers provide professional development as well as science equipment aligned to state science standards to classroom teachers. Laptop loan program: Community based programs such as faith based organization, Out-of-School Time programs, schools and other youth serving organizations can borrow up to 130 laptops at a time to provide coding or computer science workshops to youth. Quarterly and Regional Meetings and STEM Summits: The Arkansas STEM Coalition hosts quarterly and regional meetings and an annual STEM Summit to convene stakeholders from all sectors, including PK-12 education, higher education, Out-of-School Time, business and industry and other professionals to share best practices and resources in STEM education and provide professional development for formal and informal educators alike.
- Arkansas Community Foundation
- Arkansas Department of Workforce Services
- Arkansas Discovery Network / Arkansas Museum of Discovery
- Arkansas Division of Career Education
- Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Arkansas Division of Higher Education Arkansas Economic Development Commission
- Arkansas Educational Services Cooperatives (15)
- Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN)
- Arkansas Network of 12 STEM Centers
- Arkansas Out of School Network (Statewide Afterschool Network)
- Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
- Clinton School of Public Service EAST Initiative
- Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas
- Little Rock Zoo
- Northwest Arkansas STEM Ecosystem
- The Generator Innovation Hub/ Go Forward Pine Bluff
- Scott Family Amazeum
- University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture| 4H Youth Development
- University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College
- Women’s Foundation of Arkansas
- Various industry leaders across the state also support our work, including Aerojet Rocketdyne, US Bank, Union Pacific, Hytrol Conveyor, eSCO Processing and Recycling, Dassault Falcon Jet, Molex, Brady Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Baldwin and Shell, Future Fuel, Suddenlink, Lewis Architects and Engineers.