Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative

Chicago, IL


The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative convenes stakeholders in Chicago’s STEM ecosystem to address inequities in the STEM learning continuum by facilitating cross-sector knowledge building, collaboration, and collective action.

Guided by the premise that access to a continuum of high-quality, STEM experiences across all years of development can provide a strong foundation for success in adulthood and support civic, college, and work readiness.

Understand that the STEM ecosystem reflects the combined STEM learning opportunities for students and families, recognizing that STEM learning can happen any time, anywhere, at any pace.

Recognize that access to STEM learning opportunities in Chicago is unequal and therefore, we strive to advance policies and practices to close opportunity gaps and address inequities, at both the system and local level.

Convene cross-sector stakeholders to move from a fragmented STEM landscape of efforts towards a coordinated approach.

Key Programs

Engaging in collaborative knowledge-building, rooted in research and implementation evaluation, that takes the form of thoughtful share out and discussion of best practices – allowing research to inform our collective practice and knowledge to flow across sectors and domains.

Collaborating via affinity groups, cross-sector partnerships, and regular convenings among stakeholders to build trust, drive common motivation, and develop shared language and common understanding of assets and opportunities within the ecosystem.

Collective Action through common agenda setting that closes opportunity gaps and, ultimately, strengthens the lives of citizens and communities.


  • Adrienne Scherenzel-Curry, Chief Program Officer (After School Matters)
  • Jennifer Schwarz-Ballard, Vice President of Education and Community Programs (Chicago Botanic Garden)
  • David Bild, Coordinator of Teen and Young Adult Programs (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)
  • Michelle Rabkin, Senior Director of Education (Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)
  • Sybil Madison-Boyd, Research Associate and Director (Chicago City of Learning, Digital Youth Network, and Office of Community Education Partnerships, Northwestern University)
  • Meridith Bruozas, Manager, Educational Programs and Outreach (Argonne National Laboratory)
  • Beth Crownover, Director of Learning (Field Museum)
  • Kassie Davis, Executive Director (CME Group Foundation)
  • Dean Grosshandler, Research Assistant Professor, STEM Education (Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Jameela Jafri, Director (Project Exploration)
  • Liz Lehman, Associate Director, Science Companion Projects (UChicago STEM Education)
  • Alan Mather, Chief Officer (Office of College and Career Success, Chicago Public Schools)
  • Amy Pratt, Associate Director (Office of STEM Education Partnerships (OSEP), Northwestern University)
  • Tony Streit, Senior Project Director (EDC)
  • Natasha Smith-Walker, Executive Director (Project Exploration)
  • Sirisha Yadlapti, Senior Program Director (Motorola Solutions Foundation)
  • Jessica Mahon, Executive Directorn (Chicago Public School – STEM Education)