Media Contact: Fred Lewis (OSSE); [email protected]
More than 300 cross-sector partners from business and industry, museums and after-school programs joined students and school and District leaders Tuesday, Dec. 11 at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University for the fourth annual DC STEM Summit, hosted by Mayor Bowser’s Administration and the DC STEM Network.
Titled “Engage and Elevate,” the full-day science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) event, led by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), offered a variety of interactive sessions and networking intended to increase access to high-quality STEM learning opportunities for students in the District of Columbia. Sessions emphasized best practices and innovative approaches for STEM education and workforce development opportunities.
“The Office of the State Superintendent of Education is committed to preparing DC students to be ready for college, career, and life opportunities,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang. “OSSE is leading the way in supporting STEM education with implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and convening partners to continue coordination and focus on STEM education in the District.”
The summit featured powerful conversations around STEM workforce development pathways for DC youth and discussions about the Early STEM learning opportunities in DC, and honored the importance of the student voice in the learning process. Interactive sessions showcased partnerships such as Home Run STEM, an Adopt a School program led by the Washington Nationals.
In a shift from previous years, the DC STEM Summit featured student voices in sessions such as “Integrating STEM into Classroom Teaching: Lessons Learned from the iSTEM Development Program,” a panel hosted by Northrop Grumman and presented by the TGR Foundation, and “The Future Speaks: Student Voices in STEM Education,” an interactive session in which public and public charter student discussed their feelings and experiences with STEM both in and out-of-school, and reflect on the impact the programs are having.
“What I like about STEM is it’s hands on,” said Zaicoria McLean, a fifth-grader at Hendley Elementary School in Ward 8, who builds robots and uses coding and math in robotics competitions with a team from her school. McLean participated in a panel at the Summit called The Future Speaks: Student Voices in STEM Education that included students from public and public charter schools in DC. “I see myself as an engineering building robots when I grow up. I can already build a robot that’s similar to a self-driving car.”
During a STEM Recognition Ceremony, the DC STEM Network also honored 20 of the District’s top STEM teachers, including 18 recipients of the 2018-19 School year Science Master Teacher Cadre Awards, and the District’s 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching recipients, Kelley Padilla, a K-6 math teacher at Bruce Monroe Elementary School @ Park View, and Jennifer Ramsey, a K-6 science teacher at KIPP DC Heights Academy.
The DC STEM Network continues to unite community partners in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide, and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all students in the District of Columbia. “The DC STEM Network, has laid an impressive foundation for cross-sector collaboration in service to DC students,” said Regina B. Schofield, director of Corporate Engagement and Education Outreach at Battelle. “Let’s help them do more by securing more funding and creating stronger partnerships to support this work. This will create more opportunities for students and teachers to connect with work-based learning opportunities in STEM.”
The DC STEM Network and OSSE will also host the Secondary DC STEM Fair on March 16, 2019 and the Elementary STEM Fair on June 1, 2019. For more information on how to get involved in the DC STEM Network, visit http://www.dcstemnetwork.org.