Bay Area STEM Ecosystem

South San Francisco, CA


The Bay Area STEM Ecosystem is a cross-sector network focused on providing equity and access to high quality STEM experiences for all young people in South San Francisco (SSF).

To identify the community’s STEM needs and resources, we organized a community listening campaign that gathered feedback from more than 400 students, caregivers and teachers. We heard that parents feel disconnected from what their children are learning, and unsure of their path to STEM careers.

In response, and with the help of more than 20 of our cross-sector partners, we organized a bilingual Summer STEM Series to focus on family engagement — parents, uncles, and older sisters learning and engaging with STEM alongside the children in their lives. As a result of this work, our network focuses on family engagement.

Key Programs

Currently, our network focuses on family engagement. Our goal is to help caregivers in the South San Francisco community better understand what STEM education is, and help them connect with opportunities, both in and out of school, to further cultivate their children’s interest in STEM. We recognize STEM as being more than just four, discrete subjects, but a chance for youth to build leadership, team building , communication and critical thinking skills; and we promote the concept that STEM can happen anywhere, and is relevant to everyday life.


The California Academy of Sciences serves as our backbone organization, and our leadership team includes:

  • The Broadcom Foundation
  • Genentech
  • The City of SSF
  • SSF Unified School District

Key Articles

Our pilot family engagement efforts were featured in a case study Early Wins and Lessons Learned: How The Bay Area Ecosystem Engages Families by STEM Next Opportunity Fund.