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Two ecosystems that are a part of the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice each received $3 million grants for their important work related to improving meaningful STEM opportunities for all.

STEM NOLA of New Orleans and Hillsborough County Public School District in Tampa, Florida were among 12 awardees across the country selected by the Department of Defense’s program for supporting the STEM workforce of the nation.

STEM NOLA will be bringing its Center for the Innovative Training of Youth to underserved students and families. STEM NOLA will use the ecosystem model of connecting diverse partners from K-12, higher education, business, government, military and philanthropy to work together for gains in STEM learning for military-connected families in four communities across the Gulf South.

Hillsborough, which anchors the Tampa Bay STEM Network, will provide a K-8 pipeline for Department of Defense careers through in- and out-of-school curriculum and opportunities.

Veronica Gonzales, director of the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, said the two Department of Defense awards to ecosystems underscore the growing recognition of the power of bringing multiple and diverse partners together to work for shared gains in STEM.

“We are very proud of STEM NOLA and the Tampa Bay STEM Network and thrilled that they are members of our global network of 89 ecosystems who work every day for students, especially those who are underserved,” she said.

Gonzales said that members of the Community of Practice share resources and knowledge – all in an effort to help create better STEM learning opportunities for all.

The STEM Learning Ecosystems is holding a virtual convening, Resilience and Resolve, Oct. 19 to Oct. 21. Register for the convening here.

Read more about the Department of Defense program regarding workforce here.