WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The STEM Funders Network (SFN) announced today that the Arizona SciTech Ecosystem is one of the 27 communities selected to pilot the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative. This project, built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations, seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people. Arizona SciTech’s selection is a demonstration of their existing progress in developing a strong STEM community and recognition of the commitment to continue this work.
Learn more about the initiative at stemecosystems.org.
“These innovative communities are providing STEM learning opportunities for millions of young people both in- and out-of-school,” said SFN co-chairs Gerald Solomon, executive director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, executive director, Noyce Foundation. “It is an initiative to design the kind of infrastructure that ensures that STEM learning is truly ‘everywhere’ and is a top priority for communities supporting youth to develop the skills and knowledge they need for success in a global workforce.”
"We are thrilled that we’ve been selected to join this initiative and the Community of Practice,” said Dr. Jeremy Babendure, executive director of the Arizona SciTech Festival. “From Globe, Verde Valley, and the White Mountains to Sahuraita, Chandler and Tempe this is a testament to the amazing and hard work 20+ communities throughout Arizona have been doing to leverage their regional SciTech festival as a way to bridge STEM to their community.
"With the support of the STEM Funders Network, our 800+ collaborators throughout Arizona and our foundational partnership with Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Science Center, Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Arizona Board of Regents and our colleagues building STEM learning ecosystems across the United States, we will be able to extend our impact to our communities even further.”
The 27 communities comprising the initial cohort of a national Community of Practice have demonstrated cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning in schools and beyond the classroom—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical—that sparks young people's engagement, develops their knowledge, strengthens their persistence and nurtures their sense of identity and belonging in the STEM disciplines. As these STEM Ecosystems evolve, a student will be able to connect what they learn in and out of school with real-world learning opportunities, leading to STEM related careers and opportunities.
Launched in Denver at the Clinton Global Initiative, the STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative will form a national Community of Practice with expert coaching and support from leaders such as superintendents, scientists, industry and others. The first gathering of this Community of Practice will be hosted at the White House in November.
The following is the complete list of sites selected from an invited pool of 70+ applicants to join the STEM Ecosystems Initiative’s first cohort creating a STEM Community of Practice:
- Arizona SciTech Ecosystem (Phoenix, AZ)
- Bay Area STEM Ecosystem (San Jose, CA)
- BoSTEM (Boston, MA)
- Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative (Chicago, IL)
- Colorado STEM (Denver, CO)
- East Syracuse Minoa Central School District STEM Learning Ecosystem (East Syracuse, NY)
- ecosySTEM KC (Kansas City, MO)
- Great Lakes Bay Regional STEM Initiative (Freeland, MI)
- Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem (Austin, TX)
- Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (Cincinnati, OH)
- Indiana STEM Ecosystem Initiative (Indianapolis, IN)
- Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership in Western New York (Buffalo, NY)
- Learning Ecology Network of STEM in Evanston (Evanston, IL)
- Los Angeles Regional STEM Hub (Los Angeles, CA)
- NC STEM Ecosystem: Driving the Future (Research Triangle Park, NC)
- Northeast Ohio STEM Learning Ecosystem (Cleveland, OH)
- NYC STEM Education Network (New York, NY)
- Orange County STEM Initiative (Corona Del Mar, CA)
- Oregon’s Statewide Regional STEM Hub Network (Salem, OR)
- Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem (Pittsburgh, PA)
- Providence After School Alliance (PASA) AfterZone STEM – FUSE Initiative (Providence, RI)
- Queens 2020 (Corona, NY)
- San Diego EcosySTEM (San Diego, CA)
- STEMcityPHL Regional Network (Conshohocken, PA)
- Tampa Bay STEM Network (Tampa, FL)
- Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (Tulsa, OK)
- Ventura County STEM Regional Network (Learning Ecosystem, Camarillo, CA)
About the STEM Funders Network
The SFN was formed in 2011 by a small group of funders from the Grant Makers for Education community to focus attention and better coordinate funding in support of robust STEM programs across the country. The SFN members fund individually as well as collectively, and their work has supported the adoption and implementation of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in all 50 states as well as dozens of STEM programs of promise.
Ecosystem funding members of the STEM Funders Network include: Samueli Foundation, Noyce Foundation, Overdeck Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, and Simons Foundation with support by Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, KDK Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation and Tiger Woods Foundation.
About Arizona SciTech
Arizona SciTech Festival is committed to promoting the celebration of science, technology and engineering across the state. Spearheaded by its Foundational Partners the Arizona Commerce Authority, Arizona Technology Council Foundation, Arizona Science Center, Arizona State University, The University of Arizona, and Arizona Board of Regents, Arizona SciTech’s premier initiative is its annual science festival held in February and March. Through a series of more than 800 expos, workshops, conversations, exhibitions and tours held in diverse neighborhoods throughout the state, the festival excites and informs Arizonans age 3 to 103 how STEM will drive our state. Visit azscitech.org for more information.