WASHINGTON, D.C. – US2020, a  nationwide network of more than 350 organizations to advance the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, chose the DC STEM Network as one of 15 finalists for the STEM Coalition Challenge.  Ninety-two partner networks, working to advance STEM mentoring and learning to underrepresented students, competed. The finalists will compete for $1-million in resources to implement their innovative approaches to STEM teaching and learning.  

The DC STEM Network is a collaboration between the Carnegie Science’s education arm, Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) and the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). The Network's mission is to unite community partners in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide, and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all D.C. students. Through the STEM Coalition Challenge, the Network is looking forward to building a community-driven strategy around maker-centered learning in the District.

The 92 applications came from 82 communities across 35 states, including partnerships comprised of 1,800 nonprofits, companies, school districts, and local governments.

The 15 finalists were evaluated on” their potential for impact, approach to partnership building, creative engagement strategies, and sustainability planning.”

The finalists will gather January 31, 2018, for the STEM Collaboratory, a two-day workshop in Pittsburgh, PA. STEM experts and creative community builders will join them and allow the finalists to refine their strategies. Winners will be announced in early 2018. The up to $1 million in prize value will be shared across winners and can include the following:  $50,000 cash prize; full-time staff placement in select locations; access to US2020’s dynamic volunteer matching platform; national visibility and communications opportunities with US2020 and its partners; measurement and evaluation tools and support; management consulting services from US2020 and external partners; and membership in the US2020 Learning Network and national Community of Practice.

Marlena Jones, Acting Director of CASE and the leader of the DC STEM Network remarked, “We are very honored to have been chosen as one of only 15 finalists in the STEM Coalition Challenge competition. This honor is a testament to the hard work and innovation of our community partners—including educators, schools, colleges, out-of-school-time providers, and other STEM-centric organizations—that participate in this important work to prepare underserved students for meaningful careers in STEM.”

Carnegie Interim Co-Presidents John Mulchaey and Yixian Zheng said, “It is very exciting to see that the momentum that Carnegie has gained in nearly three decades of mentoring and teaching STEM has culminated in such a distinguished recognition. We wish the team all the luck in the final stretch of the competition.”

Eric Schmidt, title sponsor of the STEM Coalition Challenge remarked, “It is clear by the national response that there is an interest and a need to increase the amount of STEM education being disseminated to America’s youth. In order to ensure an economy of diverse thinkers and doers, we need to continue to shine a light on the STEM collaborations that are on the ground. We need to collectively lift up programs that are inspiring more students to become the next generation of change-makers.”

The DC STEM Network joins finalists from Allendale (SC), Atlanta (GA), Boise (ID), Brooklyn (NY), Buffalo (NY), Chicago (IL), Cincinnati (OH), The Dalles (OR), Denver (CO), Detroit (MI), Downey (CA), Pittsburgh (PA), San Francisco (CA), and Socorro (NM).

Caption: Educators are using a variety of materials to make something functional, an exercise called making, at the 3rd Annual DC STEM Summit held at Carnegie’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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Initiative Made Possible by Eric and Wendy Schmidt and Arconic Foundation to Spur Innovation in STEM Mentorship and Maker-centered Learning

In addition to Eric and Wendy Schmidt and Arconic Foundation, US2020’s work is supported by national investments from Amgen, Chevron, Discovery Communications, Genentech, Fidelity Investments, Tata Consultancy Services, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Office of the State Superintendent of Education (osse.dc.gov) serves as the state education agency for the District of Columbia and works with closely with the District's 64 local education agencies to raise the quality of education for all DC residents.

US2020, a division of Citizen Schools is working to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented communities, especially girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the local level, US2020 has built a network of more than 350 organizations in 13 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. Learn more at www.us2020.org.                                                                                                                                                     

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. Learn more at www.citizenschools.org.

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