www.mybaycity.com September 5, 2015
Schools Article 10104

The STEM Funders Network (SFN) has announced that the Great Lakes Bay Region is one of 27 communities from across the nation selected to pilot the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative.

STEM PILOT: Great Lakes Bay Region Named for National Ecosystems Initiative

September 5, 2015
By: Dave Rogers

This area is now on the cutting edge of a national educational initiative aimed at interesting more students in careers in science, technology and math -- STEM.

The STEM Funders Network (SFN) has announced that the Great Lakes Bay Region is one of 27 communities from across the nation selected to pilot the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative.

Launched at the Clinton Global Initiative, this project seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people.

"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 absolutely thrilled that the Great Lakes Bay Region has been selected to join the STEM Ecosystems Initiative," said Matthew Felan, President & CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. "With the support of the STEM Funders Network and our colleagues building STEM learning ecosystems across the United States, we will be able to extend our impact within the Great Lakes Bay Region even further."

In 2014, leaders from business and education joined forces under the leadership of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance to launch the STEM Impact Initiative. The long-term goal of the Initiative is to increase the number of students who are interested in and prepared to pursue STEM-related careers in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Last November, the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance hosted a STEM Summit at Central Michigan University where it released findings from a comprehensive STEM study. The study offered a series of recommendations for the Great Lakes Bay Region to build a STEM Talent Pipeline. STEM Networks have now been established across the Great Lakes Bay Region to develop specific strategies to build the region's STEM Talent Pipeline.

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 after-school 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.

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 Region STEM Impact Initiative (Bay, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, 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)

*Oregons 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)

Learn more about the initiative at stemecosystems.org.

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 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 the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance: The mission of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance is to encourage, support and celebrate regional collaboration and initiatives that will improve the economic vitality and quality of life in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance is comprised of 48 Board Members who represent Bay, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties. www.greatlakesbay.com

For more information, please contact info@stemecosystems.org or Matthew Felan at mfelan@greatlakesbay.org, (804) 347-6840. ###

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