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Alabama STEM Council Awards STEM Learning Ecosystem Planning Incentives (SLEPI) to Recipients Paving the Way for Statewide Innovation and Collaboration



(Birmingham, January 31, 2024) – The Alabama STEM Council, in collaboration with TIES, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, proudly announces the recipients of the STEM Learning Ecosystem Planning Incentives (SLEPI) as part of its statewide initiative to establish connected STEM Learning Ecosystems (SLEs). This initiative, supported by funding from the Alabama legislature, fosters collaboration among businesses, K-12 schools, higher education institutions, government entities, out-of-school time providers, philanthropic organizations, and more.

Lee Meadows, Executive Director for the Alabama STEM Council, shared his enthusiasm, stating, “The response to the STEM Learning Ecosystem Planning Incentives has been overwhelming. We are thrilled to announce the recipients who will play a crucial role in shaping the future of STEM education and workforce development in Alabama.

Rene McNeal, STEM Ecosystem Coordinator for the Alabama STEM Council, emphasized, “These incentives are a testament to the commitment and dedication of our community towards building a brighter future for our learners and communities. We believe investing in STEM education propels innovation and prepares our young scholars for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

“We firmly believe that strategic investments in STEM Education not only foster innovation but also serve as the foundation for preparing the future for all Alabamians,” said Jan Morrison, CEO and Founder of TIES. She envisions a prosperous future for Alabama, where investments in STEM education pave the way for a skilled and thriving workforce and contribute to the state’s overall prosperity.

The STEM Ecosystems initiative is designed to enhance learning experiences and contribute to the growth of thriving local economies that benefit all Alabamians. The vision is to provide accessible STEM education opportunities for learners across Alabama through cross-sector partnerships, establishing a sustainable statewide culture of entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic prosperity.

The Alabama STEM Council was honored to receive numerous applications from diverse entities committed to fostering STEM education and collaboration across the state.

The STEM Learning Ecosystem Planning Incentives (SLEPI) Recipients:

  • Alabama Expanded Learning Alliance
  • Auburn University
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of North Alabama (BGCNAL)
  • College Admissions Made Possible (CAMP)
  • Dallas County System of Services
  • Gadsden City Schools
  • Greensboro Middle School
  • HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
  • Lawson State Community College
  • McWane Science Center
  • Oxford City Schools
  • Southern Research Institute, in partnership with Auburn University
  • STEAMCamp for Kids
  • St. Luke’s Episcopal School
  • Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Inc. (SAFE)
  • Techelon Solutions
  • The George Joseph and Susie Ezzell Atta Memorial Library Inc., “The ATTA”
  • The University of West Alabama
  • Tuscaloosa City Schools, in partnership with The University of Alabama
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham

In addition, we’re proud to announce Planning Incentive funding to the two inaugural Alabama Regional STEM Learning Ecosystems:

  • NCAL STEM Learning Ecosystem (Wallace State Community College)
  • I-85 STEM Learning Ecosystem (TechMGM)

Together, we’re shaping a future where STEM education thrives and innovation knows no bounds. Join us on this exciting journey towards STEM excellence!

Please visit here for more information and to watch the Alabama STEM Council’s video.

About Alabama STEM Council
The Council has 49 total members drawing from the five sectors of industries: K-12 & higher education, CTE/postsecondary training, informal STEM, and public officials/leaders. The purpose of the Council is “to advise the Legislature, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the State Department of Education on ways to improve STEM-related education, career awareness, and workforce development” across Alabama. The Council builds on the work of Alabama’s Roadmap for STEM Success and is situated administratively within AIDT in the Department of Commerce.

About TIES and STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice
With philanthropic support from some of the nation’s leading businesses and foundations, TIES and its STEM Learning Ecosystems initiative has grown to encompass 111+ Ecosystems across the globe, including a strong network of Ecosystems in Alabama. While all Ecosystems work to improve STEM learning for all, no two Ecosystems are exactly alike. TIES facilitates the design of Ecosystems and the sharing of learning among them.