Emergence of the stem collaborative

In 2010, a dialogue began between several corporate funders in St. Louis about how we could take a new approach to make a bigger impact on the amount of STEM support in our local schools. Those conversations led to an initial meeting in November 2010 between AT&T, Bank of America, Boeing, Emerson, Express Scripts, Mastercard, Monsanto, Peabody, Sigma-Aldrich and Washington University in St. Louis.

Over the next year and a half, this group, initially known as the STEM Funding Collaborative, held multiple meetings and worked on identifying a strategy to help increase STEM support and competency in St. Louis schools. A key aspect of this project was stakeholder engagement and understanding the challenges that educators and school districts face in making STEM content relevant to students. Through this process, the STEM Collaborative identified key focus areas to address when moving forward.

Findings: The need for stem professional development

The most readily identified need was enhanced STEM professional development, particularly around curriculum. With that knowledge, the STEM Collaborative set out to create an annual professional development initiative to help address the concerns raised by school districts, superintendents and teachers in the St. Louis region. The STEM Teacher Quality Institute was piloted in the summer of 2012 with 66 educators during a 10-day STEM immersion. The Institute was followed up by three STEM professional development days and three after-school sessions throughout the school year.

Opportunities for More STEM Support

In early 2013, the informal STEM Collaborative took another step forward by officially naming themselves STEMpact. Fueled by the collective desire to make a lasting impact on the region through a shared vision, STEMpact communicates the need for STEM support by emphasizing the impact that STEM education can have on the lives of children. STEMpact is currently evaluating opportunities to expand the STEMpact Teacher Quality Institute (our STEM professional development program) and build an enhanced STEM support network that would create a pipeline of STEM proficient individuals.

STEMpact

THE US RANKS 27TH IN THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS WHO GET UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES IN SCIENCE OR ENGINEERING

SOURCE:
organization for economic cooperation and development