SAN DIEGO, CALIF. The newly-formed Upper Ohio Valley STEM Cooperative has just been selected as a "STEM Community of Practice" to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems national initiative to make a significant impact on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and workforce development. As announced at the U.S. News STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference today, Belmont County, Ohio and surrounding counties in Ohio, W.Va. and Pennsylvania have been selected as one of 17 regional Community of Practice Ecosystems added to the national Initiative, which now encompasses 54 communities.
In just two years, the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative has become a thriving network of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals, joined in regional partnerships with the objective of collaborating in new and creative ways to increase equity, quality and STEM learning outcomes for all youth and life-long learners.
"It's so important to consider the entire continuum of education," said national STEM Learning Ecosystem co-chairs Gerald Solomon, Executive Director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, Director of STEM Next. "The growing Communities of Practice shares ideas and best practices for innovative learning that will benefit students' individual development and prepare them for the demands of the 21st century workforce."
The Upper Ohio Valley STEM Cooperative was selected to be one of 17 incoming ecosystem communities because of a demonstrated commitment to cross-sector collaborations in schools and beyond the classroom--in afterschool and summer programs, at home, with local business and industry partners, and in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical. As STEM Ecosystems evolve, students and other learners will be able to connect and derive benefit from what is learned in and out of school with real-world opportunities.
"The upper Ohio Valley is becoming an increasingly dynamic economy with significant new business and diverse job opportunities in the coming years. Preparing our students and equipping our existing workforce for the region's economic future is of paramount importance to our continued growth and prosperity. Thus, building integrated workforce development programs and networks throughout the region is of vital importance," said Dr. Paul Abraham, Dean of the Ohio University Eastern Campus, and initial lead of the the Upper Ohio Valley STEM Cooperative. "While it is never easy to forge truly productive collaborations, the STEM Ecosystem's National Initiative will provide us with invaluable technical assistance and infrastructure support so that we can tailor quality STEM learning opportunities to specific needs in our region while leveraging the experience of similar alliances across the country."
Members of the new the Upper Ohio Valley STEM Cooperative currently include: Belmont College, Belmont County Improvement Corporation, Ohio University Eastern Campus, St. Clair Commons, Saint Clairsville-Richland City School District and Union Local School District.
Early plans for the STEM Cooperative are to coordinate resources and strategies for current STEM learning opportunities for school and college students in Belmont County and to expand opportunities for all students and adult learners through partnerships with businesses, agencies and educational institutions throughout the Upper Ohio Valley.
The following ecosystem communities were selected to become part of the national STEM Learning Ecosystem:
Arizona: Flagstaff STEM Learning Ecosystem
California: Region 5 STEAM in Expanded Learning Ecosystem (San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey Counties)
Louisiana: Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network
Massachusetts: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network
Michigan: Michigan STEM Partnership /Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance
Missouri: St. Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem
New Jersey: Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance (Burlington County)
New Jersey: Newark STEAM Coalition
New York: WNY STEM (Western New York State)
New York: North Country STEM Network (seven counties of Northern New York State)
Ohio: Upper Ohio Valley STEM Cooperative
Ohio: STEM Works East Central Ohio
Oklahoma: Mayes County STEM Alliance
Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery STEM Learning Ecosystem
Washington: The Washington STEM Network
Wisconsin: Greater Green Bay STEM Network
Canada: Symbiosis, British Columbia, Canada
Learn more about the national initiative at stemecosystems.org. Address specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook.
About the STEM Funders Network: The STEM Funders Network brings together grant makers working in STEM to learn from one another, leverage their collective resources and collaborate on high-impact projects they could not undertake alone. The vision of the STEM Funders Network is that all students should have equal opportunity to engage in high-quality STEM learning experiences that will enhance their ability to succeed in a STEM career or other chosen path. See http://www.stemfundersnetwork.org
STEM Ecosystems funding and local supporting members of the STEM Funders Network include: Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, KDK-Harman Foundation, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Overdeck Family Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, Samueli Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Simons Foundation, Steinman Foundation, STEM Next (Supported by the Noyce Foundation), and Tiger Woods Foundation.
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