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The year 2020 was a first in countless sectors and the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice worked hard to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and embrace the opportunities it presented. The convening, Resilience and Resolve, held in October 2020 was the first-ever virtual convening of the SLECoP. Held on the Virbela platform, the convening attracted almost 600 registrants from all Ecosystems affiliated with the 89-member community of practice. Our Pitsco Education colleagues, who recorded sessions for us, have compiled a series of videos that capture some key ideas from the convenings and highlighted sessions:
The following table includes hyperlinks to recordings and high-level description of the many sessions that were held during Resilience and Resolve. Some of the sessions do not have recordings and we, instead, offer summaries of those sessions or other explanations. Additionally, where possible, we have included the Power Point decks that were used in the sessions
MONDAY, OCTOBER 19
TIME
SESSION

Welcome to the 2020 Fall STEM Learning Ecosystems Convening Resilience & Resolve: The Power of STEM Learning Ecosystems

Y is STEM still White?

Join Ecosystems leaders for a frank conversation on Racial Equity and STEM. Nichole Pinkard, from Northwestern University, and Reginald McGregor, of Rolls Royce will be joining the SLECOP to push us to think about the ways that we can interrogate systems in education. Our panelists will provide insight from their sector perspectives, as well as, challenge us to look at our role in our ecosystem as it looks at addressing challenges around equity and inclusion. Ecosystem Leaders from Chicago, Indiana, and Pittsburgh will also participate to share how ecosystems, every ecosystem can push the racial equity conversation.

Presenters:

  • Reginald McGregor,Engineering Employee Development & STEM Outreach NA Engineering Operations Management, Defense Sector, Rolls-Royce Corporation, Indiana STEM Ecosystem
  • Nichole Pinkard, Computer Scientist, Northwestern University
  • Natasha Smith-Walker, Executive Director, Project Exploration, Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative
  • LaTrenda Sherrill, Remake Learning, Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem


Session documents:
PPT

Policy & Advocacy for Ecosystems

Policy can seem separate from our work as STEM advocates, when in fact it is important to our desired outcomes. During this session you will learn and develop strategies, discuss coaching opportunities, and reimagine participation in policy as an essential advocacy move. You will learn how to manage your own policy tool kit and personalize the content to fit the needs of your ecosystem.

PRESENTER: James Brown, Global Partner and Coach
FOCUS AREA: Systems for Sustainability


UPLIFTING AMBASSADORS CONTINUING THE DREAM TO COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS IN THE TIME OF A PANDEMIC

In Delran and Chicago, equity and access were addressed through 1:1 networked devices and intensive professional development to create student ambassadors that acquire skills in digital fabrication and virtual learning. Both cities posed the question, how do we persevere hands-on learning during this challenging time? The answer; STEMbassadors of Delran and STEAMbassadors of Chicago. Find out how to engage youth in virtual pivots, learning, workforce development, and community outreach.

PRESENTERS: Cachetta Potts, Special Projects Administrator at Project Exploration, Natasha Smith-Walker, Executive Director, Project Exploration

Erica DeMichele and Mary Jo Hutchinson K12 Supervisors at Delran Township Schools and Co-Leads for Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance

ECOSYSTEMS: Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative and Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance

FOCUS AREAS: Cross-Sector Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Connections to Learning, Virtual Pivots, Equity, Social Emotional Development


MAKING SHIFTS & LEVERAGING OPPORTUNITIES

What does increasing diversity, equity & inclusion in STEM mean? This session is a safe space for valuable discussions regarding institutional changes needed to occur for the underrepresented to become represented in STEM. Through an engaging activity, we will explore asset-based STEM leadership practices and recommendations to make necessary shifts in our own communities and spaces.

PRESENTERS: Stephanie Garcia, Education Associate at IDRA, Hector Bojorquez, Director of Operations Intercultural Development Research Association

ECOSYSTEM: San Antonio STEM Ecosystem

FOCUS AREAS: Cross-Sector Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Measurement, Connections to Learning, Equity


ROBOTIFY IN NEW ORLEANS

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence are amazing tools for unleashing students’ imaginations and introducing them to critical skills. Yet, robots are often expensive and out-of-reach for many. Learn about the virtual robotics platform, Robotify, and how STEM NOLA is piloting this software to bring as many robotics experiences as possible to students.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Calvin Mackie, STEM NOLA; Adam Dalton, co-founder of Robotify


FORWARDING EQUITY AND JUSTICE IN STEM THROUGH CULTURALLY SUSTAINING PROGRAM PRACTICES

Culturally sustaining pedagogy and practices (CSPP) support the participation of ethnically and racially minoritized youth in out-of-school STEM programs, while also centering their cultural identities. This session will support participants in better understanding CSPP and offer the opportunity to hear about programs and ecosystems engaging in such practices, in both regular programming and their responses to COVID-19. Participants will leave the session ready to evaluate, expand upon, and improve their programming to make it more culturally sustaining.

PRESENTERS:

  • Lori Delale-O’Connor, Assistant Professor of Education
  • Dr. Disan Davis is the Program Manager of RockEDU
  • Ashley Patton is the founding director of the CS Pathways
  • Dr. Elizabeth Waters is the Acting Director of STEM Outreach at The Cooper Union

ECOSYSTEM: Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem

FOCUS AREAS: Connections to Learning, Cross-Sector Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Equity, Social Emotional Development


INTRODUCTION TO CALIPER

Caliper maps paths to success in the terms of equity and access set out by the STEM learning ecosystems themselves. Caliper tells the stories of how ecosystems navigate success by: locating them in relation to where they have been, where they want to be, and where to go next, leveraging common experiences to create a shared language for communicating and adapting lessons learned about clear paths, detours, and dead ends, and by highlighting landmarks of significance for equity and access, flagging substantive variations in ethnic, gender, age, and role subgroups’ experiences.

PRESENTERS: Jan Morrison, Founder & Senior Partner, TIES; William Fisher Founder Living Capital Metrics, LLC; Gwendolyn Brantley, Executive Director of Leadership Greater Bridgeport STEM Learning Ecosystem; Phil Hampton, Professor, California State University Channel Islands, Ventura County STEM Network; Xan Black, Executive Director of the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance

FOCUS AREAS: Measurement, Systems that Sustain the Work, Equity


DEVELOPING A STATE STEM EDUCATION AGENCY TO FOCUS ON YOUR ECOSYSTEM

Can you imagine your state having a state agency solely focused on equitable STEM education and fostering a thriving STEM ecosystem? It is possible! Members of the Idaho STEM Ecosystem will share how they created a state agency through legislation under the Office of the Governor. Presenters will discuss the formation of the state agency, the role of key partnerships that made it possible, how legislative mandates have been brought to scale. Participants will brainstorm with one another and the presenters on how to create a STEM education agency within their own local/state government.

PRESENTER: Angela Hemingway, Executive Director, Idaho STEM Action Center
ECOSYSTEM: Idaho STEM Ecosystem
FOCUS AREAS: Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Connections to Learning


Tuesday, OCTOBER 20
TIME
SESSION

TALENT DEVELOPMENT TODAY FOR THE WORKFORCE OF TOMORROW

PRESENTED BY TALLO

Walk away with insights from industry leaders on early talent development strategies to best address your ecosystem stakeholders. The pandemic has forever changed the way that we live and work. While some companies were forced to convert their entire workforce to a virtual environment overnight, others were faced with the challenge of mass hiring for their essential businesses. However, one common theme exists for all employers: recruiting will never look the same. How do you engage talent virtually? How do you develop innovative recruitment strategies? And how do you drive awareness for both your brand and open positions when recruiting events are canceled? Join our panel as they discuss how they have overcome their recruitment obstacles and successfully adapted to the new norm.

PRESENTERS:

  • Casey Welch, Co-Founder & CEO, Tallo
  • Bryan Quick, Director Talent Acquisition, Global University Relations & Intern Programs, Abbott Laboratories
  • Carlos Arcilia: Early Career Lead – High School, University Talent Acquisition, Lockheed Martin

FULL STEM AHEAD: CAMPS, PD AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT IN THE VIRTUAL FRONTIER

Well, you never know till you try…and try we did! We are honored to share our glows and grows on quickly turning professional development, summer camps and outreach into virtual learning environments. Armed with data, stories and artifacts, we are happy to share what we have learned over the last few months about impactful virtual & remote-unplugged STEM programming.

PRESENTERS: Emily Mortimer, Program Director: Kristen Tanner, Computer Science Program Manager: Dr. Wil Brown K-20 Program Manager, TRSA: Jaime Christensen Events Manager, TRSA

ECOSYSTEM: Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance

FOCUS AREAS: Connection to Learning, Systems that Sustain the Work, Virtual Pivots, Equity, Social Emotional Development


DESIGN TO DISRUPT & REIMAGINE EDUCATION: COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS

Effective community engagement requires creating a safe environment so that sincere sharing and listening can take place. Building trust and long-lasting relationships with communities is an ever-evolving challenge that demands intentional, responsive, and effective listening. We invite you to join us to learn how session leaders earned the trust of their communities, what it looks like to amplify community voices, and understand the tangible steps, tools and strategies for facilitating meaningful and relevant dialogue.

PRESENTERS: Neferteri Strickland, Teachers &, LLC and Daniel Aguirre, TIES STEM Consultant

ECOSYSTEM: PA SEED Ecosystem

FOCUS AREAS: Cross-Sector Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Equity, Virtual Pivots


SCIENCE, DATA, AND TECHNOLOGY: THE WINNING TRIFECTA IN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Building and growing your ecosystem – especially in a virtual world forced by the pandemic – is more challenging than ever. However, when you approach future workforce planning, you’ll find that three things must come together for success: data, science, and technology. First, armed with reliable, current data, you can shape your strategy and plan. Next, the incorporation of science into your career assessment strategy helps uncover talent’s purpose and passion for the ideal career fit. And finally, technology can bring everything together by helping identify the right fit and making connections in a virtual environment. Join Tallo as they discuss how the trifecta of data, science, and technology can be used to plan and recruit your future workforce. They’ll draw on examples of ecosystems’ successes as well as share examples of current workforce trends that will help in your strategizing and planning.

PRESENTERS: John Welch, Co-Founder and Head of Workforce, Tallo Jennifer Kolb, Director of Workforce Initiatives, Tallo

FOCUS AREAS: Cross-Sector Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Equity, Virtual Pivots


UBTECH’S CAMP:ASPIRE

“Why an energy company cares about robotics: The story of Chevron, STEM NOLA and Camp ASPIRE.” The virtual camp was an amazing success for the students of New Orleans. Learn why in this session.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Calvin Mackie, STEM NOLA; Caitlin Hunter, CHEVRON



Session documents:
PPT: UBITECH

TEACHING AI IN THE MODERN CLASSROOM

Founded on UBTECH’s industry-leading robotics experience and research base, UBTECH Education developed the AI Foundations curriculum to provide educators with the tools to teach AI fundamentals to students in engaging and relevant ways. Intended to integrate AI education in core K-12 classrooms, the AI Foundations curriculum requires no additional hardware or software for ease of implementation. By utilizing the 5 Big Ideas in AI education as a framework for driving awareness, AI Foundations can enhance lessons and excite students within any computer science, STEM or science classroom. In this session, take a deep dive into the curriculum and hear from a passionate educator on the frontlines how they are integrating the curriculum today.

PRESENTER: UBTECH

FOCUS AREAS: Connections to Learning; Workforce Development



Session documents:
PPT: EvanSTEM

ECOSYSTEM DASHBOARDS: LOCAL AND STATEWIDE DATA MODELS

We all know the impact of the ecosystem’s work is strong and data can tell an incredibly compelling
story for this work. Join New Jersey’s lead for its five STEM ecosystems and EvanSTEM (Illinois) to learn more about how to develop and market a data platform to inform stakeholders of the ecosystem’s impact. We will walk through how to develop indicators of success for your data platform, what your data platform can look like, how you can get people to utilize your platform, and how to measure the success of your platform.

PRESENTERS: Kim Case, Exec. Director, Research & Development Council of New Jersey and Kirby Callam, Director EvanSTEM

ECOSYSTEMS: New Jersey STEM Pathways and EvanSTEM

FOCUS AREAS: Measurement, Systems that Sustain the Work, Partnerships


A TALE OF EIGHT ECOSYSTEMS (AND THEN SOME!)

Creating a statewide STEM Ecosystem seems like a big job… and it is! As a result of a growing need for long-term sustainability, as well as in response to Covid 19, Pennsylvania’s 8 formal Ecosystems (and several other networks) have joined together to form the Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem (PSSE). In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, we have developed a vision, mission, and strategic planning process; have identified short-term and long-term goals; have crafted a governance and communication infrastructure; hold bi-monthly STEM stakeholder webinars; and now have a distribution list of close to 2,500 individuals. This hands-on session will review our process, products, successes, and lessons learned – with the intent of sharing practical suggestions for other (big, medium, and small) Ecosystems and Communities of Practice.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Nancy Peter: Philadelphia Education Fund/Philadelphia STEM

Ecosystem: Alexandra Konsur-Grushinski: NEPA STEM Ecosystem: Demetrius Roberts: Chester County Intermediate Unit/PA SEED: Amanda J. Smith: Pennsylvania State University/ENGINE of Central PA: Dr. Winnie Black: Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network: Betsy Payne: Philadelphia Education Fund/Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem: Colleen Smith: ABC CREATE/Penn State New Kensington

PRESENTERS CONTINUED: Judd Pittman: Pennsylvania Department of Education: LaTrenda Leonard Sherrill: ReMake Learning

ECOSYSTEM: Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem

FOCUS AREAS: Cross-Sector Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Connections to Learning

ECOSYSTEM: Pennsylvania Statewide STEM Ecosystem

FOCUS AREAS: Cross-Sector Partnerships, Systems that Sustain the Work, Connections to Learning


Wednesday, OCTOBER 21
TIME
SESSION

Opening Session

Leveraging Optimism to Benefit STEM Learning

As the pandemic continues and times remain uncertain and constantly changing, educators and students alike are feeling the strain, worry, and fatigue. Now more than ever we need to provide strategies to teachers and out-of-school time professionals so they feel the support they deserve and are empowered to assist the learning and well-being of their students. Join the PEAR team as they explore the natural integration of STEM and social emotional development (SED) and discuss how optimism as an SED skillset is not static but rather can be strengthened to benefit STEM learning environments. The team will provide practical approaches and will also discuss the professional development workshops they are offering in three key areas for schools and afterschool programs as they prepare to support the learning, social-emotional, and mental health needs of youth during the 2020-21 academic year.

Presenters:

  • Dr. Gil Noam, Partnerships in Education and Resilience (PEAR)
  • Kristin Lewis-Warner, M.Ed., Partnerships in Education and Resilience (PEAR)
  • Jamaal Williams, Partnerships in Education and Resilience (PEAR)

RESILIENCY, AGILITY & PRODUCTIVITY: PRACTICAL ACTIONS FOR WORKPLACE CONTINUITY

This session guides you to be firm and flexible in response to the accelerating pace of change and unexpected conditions. This conversation explores Future Readiness and describes a model of Mindfulness, Learning, Adapting, Growing and Transforming. Drawing on principles from a positive mindset and managing change, we will focus on responding to change, developing agility and adapting to new circumstances and experiences. Resilience is not extraordinary or unattainable, everyone can learn how to navigate by re-framing your mindset, shifting your thinking and forming new habits.

PRESENTER: Pamela Sammarco, CEO, Green Training Associates LLC

FOCUS AREAS: Systems that Sustain the Work, Social Emotional Development


WORKFORCE EXPLORATION IN THE VIRTUAL WORLD (MEDICAL FIELD AND MANUFACTURING)

As the number of high schools encouraging students to explore internships and other workbased learning opportunities has grown, so has the need for information about how to get the process started. This session will highlight strategies for engaging young adults in career exploration with examples from both the medical and manufacturing industries.

PRESENTERS: Dr. Steven Player, Executive Director, Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement, Barnes-Jewish Hospital: Jennifer Irvin, MHSA, CCHW BJC School Outreach and Youth Development School-Community Education Partner, BJC HealthCare: Beonica Rutherford-Frazier, Project Director Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeships Bossier Parish Community College

ECOSYSTEMS: North Louisiana STEM Alliance and STEM STL

FOCUS AREAS: Systems that Sustain the Work, Workforce Development, Virtual Pivots


CREATE STEM PATHWAYS FOR ALL STUDENTS THROUGH QUALITY CURRICULUM AND DEVELOPING STEM TEACHER EXPERTS

Each of the 4 LSU STEM Pathways consists of a specialized progression of up to 8 project-based high school courses that prepare students for both college and career. Students can earn industry-based credentials in areas related to engineering, computer science, and robotics and have dual enrollment opportunities. By addressing the STEM needs of university and career-tech bound students simultaneously, this blended approach improves the socioeconomic disparities present in our bifurcated education systems that channel students into college or career training. Come learn more about our frameworks for STEM college and career readiness.

PRESENTER: Vanessa Begat

ECOSYSTEMS: Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network

FOCUS AREAS: Connections to Learning, Career Pathways, Equity


SYSTEMIC DISTRICTS – ENSURING STEM FOR ALL

It’s 2020. If we can’t have flying cars, we should at least have STEM access for all students. We’ve seen districts make historic shifts to meet new constraints and now is the time to support districts serving a high percentage of low income students of color to leverage this moment for long-needed systemic change–ensuring STEM access for ALL. Learn about strategies and tools that 2 California ecosystems are using to plan and implement STEM integration K-12. Preload your questions on this Padlet: http://bit.ly/SDSJE2E and join us to test drive some (also non-flying) tools.

PRESENTERS: Christina O’Guinn, Senior Director, Educational Partnerships, The Tech Interactive: Shery Burch STEM Pathways Project Manager, The Tech Interactive

ECOSYSTEM: Region 5 STEAM Ecosystem

FOCUS PILLARS: Cross-Sector Partnerships, Connections to Learning, Workforce Development, Equity


CASE STUDIES FOR ALL

Case studies provide valuable insight into potential pathways for STEM Learning ecosystems (SLEs) to transform STEM education models and generate hypotheses to inform future studies on a larger scale. However, formal case studies are very time-consuming, expensive and most programs lack the capacity to conduct such in-depth investigations with any frequency. Fortunately, many of the functions of a case study can be captured on a more practical scale. Join the PEAR team as they discuss the value of case studies and review a simpler, more accessible case study collection and reporting system with a backbone based in factual information (data). Come learn more about how to tell your ecosystem’s unique story through data and reporting.

PRESENTER: Dr. Gil Noam, PEAR; Kristin Lewis-Warner, PEAR

FOCUS AREAS: Measurement of Prgress