MetroWest STEM Education Network Selected to Join Global STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice

MetroWest STEM Education Network Selected to Join Global STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice

May 29, 2018

The MetroWest STEM Education Network has been selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, SLECOP, an initiative to improve education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). MetroWest STEM Education Network will now connect with 67 other Ecosystems.

Students must have quality, applicable STEM education to enable them to thrive in today’s world. MetroWest STEM Education Network ‘s work is grounded in an understanding that jobs in STEM careers are growing rapidly and that the national average wage for STEM-related occupations is nearly double that of non-STEM careers.

STEM Learning Ecosystems build strong collaborations in schools and beyond—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, with local business and industry partners, and in science centers, libraries and other places. Ecosystems strive to enable students to connect what they learn at home, in school and out-of-school with real-world opportunities.

MetroWest is one of twelve Ecosystems being added to the global initiative. Benefits to joining the SLECOP include:

  • MetroWest STEM Education Network will be provided with professional support to build and strengthen lasting, impactful collaboration among local organizations. This work requires a big picture perspective that is sometimes hard for individual partners to see. The SLECOP will help guide productive cooperation among local leaders in education, business, afterschool programs and more – all focused on best possible outcomes for students.
  • MetroWest STEM Education Network will be able to learn from the collective experiences of other STEM Learning Ecosystem communities that are thriving across continents through a international community of practice network.

“We’re pleased to welcome MetroWest STEM Education Network to our community of practice. The Ecosystem was selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice because its local partners have already demonstrated a deep commitment for STEM learning across multiple platforms,” said SLECOP co-founder Gerald Solomon, executive director of the Samueli Foundation.

Ron Ottinger, co-founder of the SLECOP and executive director of STEM Next Opportunity Fund added, “We were impressed with MetroWest STEM Education Network’s commitment to serving those from under-represented populations.”

Jan Morrison, president and CEO of TIES, which provides support to the SLECOP communities, said the four-year-old initiative is credited with changing how millions of students learn and dramatically altering how educators teach STEM. “Our team is eager to develop partnership and learning objectives that are relevant for the local area.”

“It makes sense to collaborate with like-minded organizations, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” said Irene Porro, director of the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, lead of the MetroWest STEM Education Network. “STEM Ecosystems provides design thinking and infrastructure support so that we can tailor quality STEM learning opportunities to our specific needs in MetroWest while leveraging the experiences of similar alliances across the world.”

Members of the new MetroWest STEM Education Network include:

Framingham State University

Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning

Massachusetts Bay Community College

Framingham Public Schools

Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce/Youth Careers 

Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest

New England Section of the American Optical Society 

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

MetroWest Chamber of Commerce

Synopsys, Inc.

Early plans for MetroWest are to announce the selection of MetroWest STEM Education Network as a new STEM Ecosystem at a meeting open to the MetroWest community scheduled for September 12, 2018 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at Framingham State University.

The following ecosystem communities were selected to become part of the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice:

  • California: East Bay STEM Network
  • Georgia: Atlanta STEAM Learning Ecosystem
  • Hawaii: Hawai’iloa ecosySTEM Cabinet
  • Illinois: South Suburban STEAM Network
  • Kentucky: Southeastern Kentucky STEM Ecosystem
  • Massachusetts: MetroWest STEM Education Network
  • New York: Greater Southern Tier STEM Learning Network
  • North Carolina: STEM SENC (Southeastern North Carolina)
  • North Dakota: North Dakota STEM Ecosystem
  • Texas: SA/Bexar STEM/STEAM Ecosystem
  • Kenya: Kenya National STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • México: Alianza Para Promover la Educación en STEM (APP STEM)

Learn more about the initiative at Address specific questions to Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook. Learn more about the MetroWest STEM Education Network at . Follow us on Twitter at @MetrowestSTEM and on Facebook.

Support in MetroWest: We are grateful to Framingham State University for providing financial and operational support, in addition to office space located in the McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning.

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice is supported by the STEM Funders Network.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.