Washington, DC— Educators from the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), a division of the Carnegie Institution for Science, joined the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in welcoming partners of the newly launched DC STEM Network to Carnegie’s Washington headquarters last week to strategize together and inspire each other about building a STEM education infrastructure in the city. STEM education is the combination the discrete subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and the skillset that goes along with their application such as problem solving, critical thinking, and analysis.
“It’s really a delight to be here together today to actually start the work,” said CASE and DC STEM Network Director Julie Edmonds at the start of the event. “Not just to plan and not just to talk, but to start the work.”
The Network will connect schools, industry partners, institutions of higher education, and STEM professionals in order to improve STEM-focused programs for students, as well as create opportunities for training and work-based experiences with industry and government.
The Call to Action, the Network’s launch event, engaged 120 educators, industry partners, and community leaders in student-led lab experiments and interactive workshops that created seven working groups. These groups are focused on increasing access to STEM learning experiences including mentoring and tutoring, in-school education, out-of-school educational opportunities, professional development for teachers, and community outreach.
Each working group created action plans that lead up to the STEM Summit, planned for October. At the STEM Summit, the working groups will report on progress made during their first half-year of working together.
“I know that we have said many times that there is a city-wide STEM effort, but I know that many of us in the field have not felt that we’ve actually realized that yet because there is still so much to tap,” DC’s Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles told the Call to Action attendees.
The DC STEM Network joins similar initiatives in 24 other states as part of STEMx, a nationwide network led by Battelle. The Battelle Memorial Institute 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.
“We understand that we as industry partners really need to be demystifying what it is that STEM professionals do. We can make it something attractive and appealing,” said keynote speaker Aimee Kennedy, Vice President of Education, STEM Learning, and Philanthropy at Battelle.