Briant K. Coleman
Director of Communications and Community Outreach
Educators from the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), a division of the Carnegie Institution for Science (www.carnegiescience.edu), will join the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education<http://osse.dc.gov/> (OSSE) to launch the DC STEM Network. STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education. The Network will unite community partners in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide, and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all DC students. The DC STEM Network joins similar initiatives in 24 other states as part of a nationwide network led by the Battelle Memorial Institute.
“Battelle reinvests a portion of the profits from its business units into partnerships with policymakers, educators, school districts, businesses, foundations, and state educators across the country with special attention to students and populations that are underserved by the public education system,” said Regina Schofield, Director of Corporate Engagement and Education Outreach at Battelle. “CASE is one of the longest-standing partners in the district that really cares about reaching kids and about STEM. Their history says ‘hey we care about all kids in DC and we care about STEM.’ It just seems like a great fit.”
With a goal of imparting to all students in Washington, DC, STEM knowledge and skills to enhance their lives and improve their communities, the DC STEM Network will unite local STEM education stakeholders in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide, and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all DC students.
“The Carnegie Institution for Science is thrilled to have formed this alliance with the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and with Battelle’s existing STEM network,” said Carnegie President Matthew Scott. “Strong STEM education is key to improving the lives of children in the city where Carnegie was founded and is still headquartered today. Scientific and technological advances underlie much of our nation’s job creation. Early introduction to the excitement of working in science or engineering can shape the future careers of young students. Graduates of CASE have, over the years, successfully entered the STEM workforce.”
“The DC STEM Network is another step in Carnegie’s ongoing dedication to community education opportunities in the DC area, a commitment that’s been in place since I founded First Light, our first science education program for children, in 1989,” said former-Carnegie President Maxine Singer.
The Carnegie Institution of Washington, which was selected by OSSE as a co-partner for this effort through a competitive process, and anchors from the Network’s seven working groups, will lead the Network with OSSE. The Network will be governed by an Advisory Council of community leaders and a leadership team.
“STEM skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovating are life skills that OSSE is committed to expanding access to for all DC students. We are excited to partner with the Carnegie Institution of Washington to launch the DC STEM Network to give District students this high quality learning experience,” said interim State Superintendent Amy Maisterra. “Over the course of the year, OSSE has renewed its commitment to STEM through releasing a statewide plan for STEM education, adopting and supporting the implementation of Common Core Math and Next Generation Science Standards, and investing and leading initiatives in STEM career and technical education. We believe that this strategy will create a pathway to learning and STEM career opportunities that are accessible to all District students.”
Working groups within the Network will focus on areas such as mentoring and tutoring; in-school education; out-of-school educational opportunities; professional development for teachers; and community outreach. The Network will connect schools, industry partners, institutions of higher education, and STEM professionals in order to improve STEM-focused programs, as well as create opportunities for training and job-embedded experiences with industry and government.
“Part of STEM’s power lies in the diversity of its concepts and applications. DC needs just as diverse a community of voices shaping the supports and strategies to help our young people towards true STEM engagement,” said Peter Guttmacher, director of programming and curricula development at the DC Trust for Youth. “When schools, community organizations, scientific institutions, museums, colleges and employers all put their heads together to keep students first, great things can happen. The DC STEM Network is doing just that.”
The DC STEM Network will launch on March 31, 2015 at the Call to Action to be held at Carnegie’s headquarters in DC. Major STEM stakeholders will gather to form the foundational working groups and develop action plans. For more information or to get involved, please contact Julie Edmonds, Director of CASE and Director of the DC STEM Network, at 202-939-1140 or [email protected]