LEAD STEM is a year-long leadership development program for STEM Learning Ecosystem leaders and emerging leaders. The application process is competitive and there is a tuition and time commitment. The program outcomes include personalized leadership development, the development of a capstone to meet a local ecosystem need, and engagement in a national network of STEM leaders.
Learn about our fellows.
This section provides information on the three core components of the LEAD STEM program.
1. Personal Professional Development
The LEAD STEM program offers personalized leadership development in the following ways:
- Leadership Development 360 Training and Support
- Communications Training
- Active Participation as a SLE National Leader
Leadership Development 360 Training and Support – LEAD STEM Kicks-off with a robust analysis of each LEAD STEM Fellow’s leadership abilities through engaging ecosystem members in providing feedback to via a 360-leadership development process tailored specifically for ecosystem leadership. This in-depth analysis focuses on the emotional intelligence of ecosystem leadership and sets the context for year long leadership development goals.
Communications Training – Each LEAD STEM Fellow will engage in an in-depth training to hone their presentation style and their “elevator” pitches. This training is focused on ensuring LEAD STEM Fellows can communicate the purpose of their work, their ecosystem, and their capstone projects to a variety of audiences in clear, compelling, and concise ways.
Active Participation as a National STEM Learning Ecosystem Leader – LEAD STEM Fellows take leadership roles and receive recognition across the broader community. These roles are largely determined by Fellow interest and by collaboration amongst Fellows in setting priorities. Examples of leadership include launching practice groups, facilitating SLE sessions, and presenting at national conferences.
2. LEAD STEM Capstone Projects
The LEAD STEM program capstone project includes the following:
- Development of a Capstone Project
- Poster Presentation
- Action Plans and Support to Launch Capstones
Development of a Capstone Project – LEAD STEM Fellows have an incredible opportunity to leverage program resources to meet a local community need through collaborating with their local STEM Learning Ecosystem and through engaging with their cohort peers and key partners and leaders across the country. The inaugural LEAD STEM cohort of LEAD STEM Fellows shared their capstone projects with partners at the open to the April 2018 Community of Practice convening. Here is a taste of the kinds of awesome work they are advancing on behalf of their communities:
- VC STEM is providing early childhood teachers relevant STEM professional development across Ventura County through collaborative partnerships
- Great Lakes Bay Region is advancing computer science for all through a series of integrated strategies and partner collaboration
- NC STEM Center STEM Leadership Academy is providing inquiry-based learning through a STEM-infused curriculum for teachers K-12 to support career and college readiness
Poster Presentation – LEAD STEM Fellows will develop and present their capstone projects to a national audience to garner support, advance collaboration, and receive feedback on their work.
Interested in knowing more? Check out the LEAD STEM Capstone Posters here!
Action Plans and Support to Launch Capstones – LEAD STEM Fellows will be supported in planning the launch of their capstone projects locally and will have access to STEM Learning Ecosystems leadership in elevating the profile of capstones.
3. National Network
There are many ways in which LEAD STEM Fellows engage in national networking, including:
- Assignment of a STEM Mentor
- Access to Key Partners
- Engagement in peer-to-peer learning
Assignment of a STEM Mentor – STEM Mentors are a key component of this program. Fellows are paired with mentors early in the program and are able to connect with them over the course of the year. They receive feedback and support on their leadership development goals, have access to the STEM Mentor’s network and connections, and have an advocate. STEM Mentors are national leaders from across foundations, industry, higher education, and other key sectors in STEM.
Access to Key Partners – LEAD STEM Fellows will meet and have access to national STEM leaders, federal STEM experts, policy experts, and others via in-person meetings and web meetings as well as networking events.
Engagement in Peer-to-Peer Learning – LEAD STEM Fellows report that one of the most valuable assets of the program is the peer-to-peer collaboration and learning. LEAD STEM Fellows support each other every step of the way and collaborate on a variety of efforts. In-person meetings, monthly web meetings, and intentional networking time all support the ability of Fellows to engage in peer-to-peer learning.
Thanks to the Samueli Foundation, LEGO Education, and other sponsors, program costs to participants are one third of the overall program cost. The individual program cost includes a $4,000 tuition per participant. In addition, Fellows are required to cover travel costs which will vary based on location and length of stay.
LEAD STEM requires mandatory participation in four in-person meetings. These meetings include intensive training and team building and are at the heart of the LEAD STEM experience. Meeting dates are listed below. Interested applicants unable to commit to in-person attendance for the entirety of LEAD STEM meetings should not apply.
In addition to in-person meetings there are monthly web meetings, connections with mentors, communication and work with peers, and leadership responsibilities LEAD STEM Fellows undertake. The estimated time commitment in addition to the four in-person meetings is an average of 1-2 hours per week over the one-year length of the program.
Total in-person time commitment = up to four 1.5 day in-person meetings
Total additional time commitment = 1-2 hours per week over the course of the year long program