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STEM Learning Ecosystems National Community of Practice Update



The STEM Funders Network hosts bi-annual National Community of Practice convenings for all participating STEM Learning Ecosystems. The Community of Practice creates a peer-to-peer professional learning network; participants help shape the meeting agenda to ensure its relevance. The most recent Convening took place in Tampa on April 24-25. Here are some key takeaways:

Julie Stolzer, Director STEM Learning Ecosystems & Community of Practice

These convenings always re-energize me and my approach to the work because the conversations between and among the communities are so dynamic and inspired. Because the agenda and speakers focus on delivering usable, implementation-ready strategies and tools, the discussions are action-oriented. Strolling among attendees I heard such passion and enthusiasm to “get back” and “try this right away.” There is an urgency among attendees to find and deliver effective, impactful, high quality STEM for all learners of all ages, abilities and circumstances. Being together reinforces the need to take bold decisive moves.

Sabrina Gomez, Director of ExpandED STEM Opportunities

I sat down for breakfast at my fourth STEM Learning Ecosystems National Community of Practice (COP) in Tampa, Florida last month, eager to discuss and learn from colleagues who have become familiar faces and friends. At 8:00 AM, representatives from the Indiana STEM Ecosystems Initiative, New York City STEM Funders Network and Orange County STEM Initiative were already engaged in a discussion on college and career readiness.

This spirit of camaraderie – like-minded individuals coming together to tackle grand challenges in STEM – is what the Community of Practice has come to represent for me. Over 200 dedicated professionals from 37 ecosystems representing different sectors of society shared their thinking on how to connect pre-K-12 STEM learning to real world experience and careers.

Read more from Sabrina in her blog post about the event.

Nearly a hundred tweets were shared from and about the event. Check out this Storify summary to see the enthusiastic spirit of the Convening. STEM Learning Ecosystems members, access slides from the presentations and Ecosystem-2-Ecosystem sessions here.

The next Community of Practice Convening will be held in Kansas City on October 3-4. The focus will be Workforce Development. We look forward hearing about even more connections that have been made and educational opportunities that were explored and offered for the benefit of student development.