I recently attended the STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative convening in Washington, DC on behalf of Colorado STEM. Founded in 2015 with 27 ecosystems, the initiative has grown to 56 communities dedicated to a national community of practice comprised of cross-sector collaborations. It was incredible to meet like-minded partners committed to rigorous STEM programming to maximize local results and create a shared narrative around the importance of STEM education for everyone. Our own Colorado STEM ecosystem is a coalition of highly engaged business, education, and civic leaders in support of high-quality STEM education experiences for all students and I am proud to be a part of it.
This year the STEM Learning Ecosystems National Community of Practice partnered with U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions Conference. The focus of the event was on the ‘Workforce of Tomorrow’. In the sessions and on the main stage, the topics included STEM skills, “new collar” jobs, apprenticeships, work-based learning, career exploration, upskilling, competency-based learning, and workforce transformation.
A few of my favorite tweet memes were:
- People used to move to where the jobs are, now companies move where the talent is
- Design Thinking is a critical trending skill in future tech workforce @lanetweet of @Cisco
- STEM skills are needed across the board...not just in ‘STEM careers’ @GeorgetownCEW
- Learning from failure is the foundation of success. We must encourage trial and error.
- Teach math in context to garner more student interest. @GeorgetownCEW
The highlight of my experience at the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative was having the honor of thanking National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France Cordova for supporting Couragion while she was being inducted into the U.S. News STEM Leadership Hall of Fame for her work advancing STEM education.
If you want to learn more about the opportunity for new communities to join 56 other STEM Learning Ecosystems in a National Community of Practice, see the benefits and process here.