In the spring of 2014 the Maryland Out of School Time Network undertook a five month effort to research and report on STEM opportunities in Baltimore City. From that work are 6 recommendations:
BmoreSTEM is the result of MOST’s landscape analysis, and is a free resource for Baltimore city families, educators, and industry to use. Resources found in BmoreSTEM are continuously updated and vetted to ensure quality.
There are many programs running in and out of school that could scale effectively to reach more students. BmoreSTEM advocates strongly to remove barriers that prevent schools and educators from offering these opportunities or attending competitions.
People who love STEM are passionate about the topic and are encouraged and inspired by learning about the good work of other colleagues. BmoreSTEM works to connect STEM educators throughout the ecosystem as a formal network. Statewide, the Maryland Out of School Time Network manages a professional STEM learning community. Read about MOST’s STEMbassadors here.
Baltimore’s teachers are being expected to offer deep-dive STEM instruction, thus requiring more professional development to increase classroom confidence. BmoreSTEM engages educators by posting local professional development opportunities in STEM subjects.
In a vibrant STEM ecosystem, students are aware of local businesses and vice versa. Career pathways are made clear, and local industry need not look too far for staff. BmoreSTEM seeks to be the connective tissue to make this a reality.
As the saying goes, “tech is the new pencil.” Schools across Baltimore City are applying for technology grants, and are outfitting their students with a ubiquitous technology experience. Creative and collaborative thinking about materials for broader access is crucial to developing a well-resourced STEM learning ecosystem.