PITTSBURGH STEM ECOSYSTEM LEADERS MEET WITH WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS

Leaders of 27 Networks Nationwide Exchange Strategies for Building Equitable, Real-World STEM Learning Opportunities for Students 

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 12, 2015 – Representatives from Carnegie Science Center and the Remake Learning Council were among those who gathered in Washington, D.C., this week representing the newly formed Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem. The Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem is one of 27 local and regional networks nationwide who met to exchange strategies for building all students’ STEM knowledge and expertise through multi-sector “ecosystems.”  These ecosystems bring together schools, science centers, other out-of-school programs, businesses, and institutions of higher education. The STEM ecosystem representatives who participated also met with White House officials to discuss equitable STEM education and federal STEM policy.

The 27 STEM Learning Ecosystems that gathered in Washington, D.C., represent the inaugural group selected by the STEM Funders Network for support as part of a larger commitment that will grow to support 100 ecosystems in its first three years. These groups are forming a diverse set of communities from across the country by creating engaging, real-world STEM learning experiences. Each of the 27 networks is receiving hands-on technical assistance individualized to the needs of each community from the STEM Funders Network.

“The President has called for all of us to think of creative and effective ways of getting all of our students engaged in STEM education,” noted John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “It’s heartening to see so many communities working locally and together in response to the President’s call to action.”

The ecosystem leaders also met with Harvard University student David Boone, who spoke to the group about the impact of real-world STEM experiences on his own path from homelessness to higher education.

The Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem planning partners are: the Remake Learning Council, Carnegie Science Center, ASSET STEM Education, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Learning Research and Development Center, and YWCA.

“This initiative will allow us to develop a regional strategy to address the gaps in access to effective STEM education, as well as the pathways that support youth and families to find learning opportunities that lead to successful careers or continued education after high school. We will be able to incorporate best-practice strategies from experts and peers around the country, as well as share how Southwestern Pennsylvania is a leader in this space,” said Anne Sekula, director of The Remake Learning Council.

“Today’s session at the White House affirms the importance of STEM education to our nation’s future,” said Ann Metzger, co-director of Carnegie Science Center. “We already have a strong track record of collaboration and commitment, and with the Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem we are now even better positioned to work together as a team to provide families and schools with valuable STEM education resources to prepare students for STEM careers.”

Ron Ottinger, executive director of the Noyce Foundation and co-chair of the STEM Funders Network, commented, “We are delighted to help these regional coalitions advance STEM education around the country.”     

“We look forward to continuing our work with communities nationwide,” added Gerald Solomon, co-chair of the STEM Funders Network and executive director of the Samueli Foundation. “We know that these grassroots, local partnerships can provide a sustainable way to ensure STEM learning is truly ‘everywhere’ for all learners as they build the skills and knowledge to thrive in a global workforce.”

The first 27 STEM Learning Ecosystems selected by the STEM Funders Network include:                                                                                                                                         

  • Arizona SciTech Ecosystem (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Bay Area STEM Ecosystem (San Jose, CA)
  • BoSTEM (Boston, MA)
  • Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative (Chicago, IL)
  • Colorado STEM (Denver, CO)
  • East Syracuse Minoa Central School District STEM Learning Ecosystem (East Syracuse, NY)
  • ecosySTEM KC (Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS)
  • EvanSTEM (Evanston, IL)
  • Great Lakes Bay Regional STEM Initiative (Freeland, MI)
  • Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem (Austin, TX)
  • Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Indiana STEM Ecosystem Initiative (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership in Western New York (Buffalo, NY)
  • Los Angeles Regional STEM Hub (Los Angeles, CA)
  • NC STEM Ecosystem: Driving the Future (Research Triangle Park, NC)
  • Northeast Ohio STEM Learning Ecosystem (Cleveland, OH)
  • NYC STEM Education Network (New York, NY)
  • Orange County STEM Initiative (Corona Del Mar, CA)
  • Oregon’s Statewide Regional STEM Hub Network (Salem, OR)
  • Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Providence After School Alliance (PASA) AfterZone STEM – FUSE Initiative (Providence, RI)
  • Queens 2020 (Corona, NY)
  • San Diego EcosySTEM (San Diego, CA)
  • STEMcityPHL Regional Network (Greater Philadelphia, PA)
  • Tampa Bay STEM Network (Tampa, FL)
  • Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (Tulsa, OK)
  • Ventura County STEM Regional Network Learning Ecosystem (Camarillo, CA)

TIES, The Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, leads the technical assistance for the STEM ecosystems initiative and is the lead consultant for the STEM Funders Network (SFN), a diverse mix of education-focused philanthropies from across the nation advancing STEM education by leveraging the collective voice, resources, and strategies of its members.

For more information about STEM Ecosystems, please contact: Julie Newport, (202) 266-4718, newport@collaborativecommunications.com

About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

About the Samueli Foundation
The Samueli Foundation strives to create societal value by investing innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable ideas. The Foundation supports endeavors that embody the following objectives: promote scholastic, technical and creative exploration and achievement; build a community of sharing, acceptance and altruism; increase awareness, knowledge and opportunities; and enhance the quality of life of the underserved

About the Noyce Foundation
The Noyce Foundation aims to help young people become curious, thoughtful, and engaged learners. The Foundation focuses on a few key areas: expanding opportunities for students to experience hands-on science in out-of-school settings; supporting human capital efforts to develop effective teachers and principal leaders; and investing in models and policy for improving the teaching of math and science. The Noyce Foundation was created by the Noyce family in 1990 to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Robert N. Noyce, co-founder of Intel and inventor of the integrated circuit which fueled the personal computer revolution and gave Silicon Valley its name.

About TIES
TIES, The Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, is the country's foremost innovator in STEM School design, STEM curriculum, and STEM instructional support to schools. Jan Morrison is the President and CEO of TIES and lead consultant for the STEM Funders Network, a collaboration of more than nineteen STEM funders seeking to fund STEM for the USA with greater return on their investment and therefore for the nation's students. She also served as designer of MC2STEM High School in Cleveland, a national model for STEM education.

###