Building a STEM Ecosystem in Baltimore

This post originally appeared on The Huffington Post

Across the country, school districts, informal educators, non-profit organizations, and entire communities are mobilizing to enhance STEM learning opportunities for America’s youth. Rarely in the history of American education have we witnessed such focused energy towards enriching curriculum, especially in the STEM fields. A quick Google search for STEM grants yields millions of dollars in opportunities from philanthropic organizations, private industry, the federal government, and defense contractors. Last spring, President Obama hosted the fifth annual White House Science Fair, and announced an additional $240 million in private-sector commitments to STEM education programming, thus bringing the President’s “Innovate to Educate” campaign total to over $1 billion. It is not hard to explain why the nation’s focus has shifted so staggeringly towards STEM given the global stakes, the opportunities, and the fundamental shift in how we as a country are doing business. What is difficult, however, is capturing this tidal force of resources and energy in an equitable fashion that will provide the best outcomes for all youth. Continue Reading…

MOST Launches Third Year of STEMbassador Program

MOST STEMbassadors

On September 25th, the Maryland Out of School Time (MOST) Network launched the third cohort of its sySTEM Learning Community featuring 21 STEMbassadors from programs throughout the state. In total, 19 organizations from 8 counties are represented, which accounts for over 2,000 students served. The STEMbassador program identifies and supports out of school time professionals seeking to begin or expand their STEM offerings through a professional learning community model.

This year, MOST’s STEMbassadors will receive hands-on training from the Baltimore-based Digital Harbor Foundation in such skills as 3D printing, making, and electronics. Upon completing training, STEMbassadors can transfer that knowledge to their site-based staff and students. You can learn more about the program and MOST’s STEMbassadors here.