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One year and 16,000+ students later
One year ago, education, business, and political leaders came together under the banner of Washington STEM to advance equity, excellence, and innovation in STEM education, improving opportunities for students most underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields.
What a year it has been! From big grants to spread promising programs to micro-investments that nurture STEM innovation in individual schools, our STEM seeds are taking root and fueling the movement to reimagine STEM education for every student in our state.
Below are some highlights from our inaugural round of investments:
  • Washington MESA – The middle to high school transition is a critical junction during which we lose too many students, particularly those traditionally underserved and underrepresented in STEM fields. With support from Washington STEM, Washington MESA scaled a promising Seattle-based program statewide to reach more than 230 8th graders. Initial results show promise. Summer Math Scholar students are building core math skills, gaining tools for high school success, and increasing their motivation for STEM. Looking ahead, MESA will codify promising practices to share with others interested in activating summer experiences, particularly around this transition.
  • Burton Elementary School in the Evergreen School District – What began as a small award to one classroom expanded into a school-wide opportunity thanks to the excitment generated by one teacher. In his Entrepreneur Award project, teacher Tony Ayala used LEGO Mindstorms NXT Technology to get traditionally underserved 5th grade students interested in engineering and sustainable energy. Hands-on learning experiences included building working wind and solar stations, basic programming, and competitions in which students programmed their robots to execute missions that integrated sustainable technologies and global issues. Not only did this work capture the imagination of the students, it also attracted additional investments from the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, which selected Burton Elementary as one of three schools to receive a professional development and field trip grant to support more teachers in delivering robust and inspiring STEM education starting in elementary school.
  • Ed Lab Group's TechREACH – How do you boost girls' interest and passion for STEM? Ask our funded partners at TechREACH, an out-of-school program that engages underserved and underrepresented students, particularly girls, in science and technology through authentic learning experiences and interactions with STEM professionals. With a $23,500 Entrepreneur Award they partnered with Pasco's Ellen Ochoa Middle School to deliver two week-long summer camps for girls. Data collected showed that participants had a boost in interest in technology classes and careers. Want to implement these ideas in your classroom? Check out the resources EdLab staff compiled including instructor guides, student handouts, and more.

Thank you to all of our inaugural funded partners for your incredible dedication, passion, and innovation!

Read the Associated Press story highlighting our anniversary and check out our blog for more stories of STEM in action.

STEMConnector's Daily
Dose of STEM

Check out STEMDaily, a news aggregator from STEMConnector that pulls the day’s top stories of STEM in action. From traditional media sources, cutting-edge blogs, and other social media, STEMDaily culls the top news to keep readers up-to-date on the latest developments in STEM.

Selected stories cover topics in K-20 education, diversity and women in STEM, the workforce pipeline, conferences, scholarships and grants, testing and assessments, policy, and more .

STEM Rock Stars Take the PNW this June

Launching this June, Seattle Science Festival is the region's first community-wide celebration of science and technology.  The festival includes a Science EXPO Day June 2 at Seattle Center; Science Festival Week hosted at locations throughout the region; and the Science Luminaries Series featuring science "rock stars" in evening events throughout Seattle.

STEM Networks Launch Statewide!

Each region in our state has a unique economy with the potential to accelerate student success in STEM—from the technology corridor of the Puget Sound to the renewable energy and agriculture powering Yakima Valley.
The STEM Network strategy is a fresh approach that supports communities and regions in Washington to revitalize STEM education in alignment with local economic development. At its core is a community-driven model that engages schools, nonprofits, businesses, and others to define a common vision and develop a roadmap that bridges education and economy through opportunities in STEM.
This month, we're excited to announce investments in three inaugural Washington STEM Networks.
The South Central STEM Network spans the Yakima, Kittitas, and parts of Klickitat and Grant counties, along with several school districts in the Yakama Nation Reservation. The goal of the network is to prepare its diverse student population for family-wage earning jobs in the area, while bolstering local economic development. Work will kick off with focus groups to engage key stakeholders including Yakama Tribal members, students, educators, and business and industry leaders. Learn more >>

South King County STEM Network will weave STEM education outcomes into the already-established Road Map Project, impacting seven districts in the region. In addition to a May 31 Common Core symposium, the network will launch outreach activities later this spring to kick off its community visioning process. Learn more >>

The Spokane STEM Network will leverage the area’s robust STEM economy including aerospace, clean technology, manufacturing, energy, technology, and health/life/biomedical sciences industries. The network will ensure all area students receive an excellent STEM education, while boosting post-secondary degree attainment in alignment with local workforce development needs. Learn more >>

Stay tuned for updates from the field from these STEM Neworks!
Contact   Washington STEM | Phone: 206.658.4320 |
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