SUPPORTING YOUTH PATHWAYS
In a STEM Learning Ecosystem, pathways enable young people to become engaged, knowledgeable and skilled in the STEM disciplines as they progress from childhood through adolescence and into early adulthood.
To create youth pathways, STEM Ecosystems can:
- Create formal and informal pathways to transform ‘random acts of STEM’ to opportunities for young people to pursue and deepen their STEM interest and knowledge over time.
- Pay particular attention to identifying and overcoming barriers that prevent young people from under-represented STEM populations to successfully beginning and persevering in STEM.
- Educate adults – in schools, OST and informal STEM settings — about the range of STEM opportunities available and how to help youth navigate pathways and access resources.
- Encourage STEM educators to link their programs to sequential experiences for youth, connect with other educators and actively guide youth to the next step.
- Encourage youth to create and navigate their own pathways or explorations, connecting and building new learning opportunities for themselves.
- Connect young people with STEM mentors and professionals to learn about careers and pathways.
- Tap into the power of digital media to connect youth with peer, adult and community support.
- Teach about the range of STEM career possibilities beginning at an early age, in and out of school.
- Ensure parents and guardians receive consistent messaging, guidance and resources from multiple sources about how to support their children’s STEM success.
- Develop new credential models, such as certifications, badges, e-portfolios or other ways to demonstrate mastery of skills and knowledge that are understood and respected in diverse environments.