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Washington STEM Summit 2014

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Washington STEM Summit 2014

Our third annual STEM Summit was December 2, 2014, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, WA.

Governor Inslee and Reverend Jesse Jackson Speak on the Importance of Equality in STEM Education

New Report Outlines Economic Impacts of Immediate STEM Education Investments

December 2, 2014

REDMOND, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee today introduced his STEM Education Innovation Alliance that is charged with strengthening STEM education in Washington state at Washington STEM's third Annual STEM Summit at Microsoft's Redmond campus.

Gov. Inslee was joined by Reverend Jesse Jackson at the Summit. Reverend Jackson spoke of the need for gender and minority equality in STEM education and jobs. He also spoke on the need for great STEM teachers and providing all kids with challenging STEM opportunities.   

"Washington state's STEM economy continues to grow, but our education system isn't keeping up with the demand from employers for a highly trained STEM workforce," said Gov. Jay Inslee. "Today the STEM Education Innovation Alliance starts its task of bringing together communities from across the state to develop a plan to ensure we are preparing our homegrown students to compete for the STEM jobs of Washington state's innovation economy."

The Legislature passed, and Inslee signed into law, the comprehensive STEM education initiative in 2013, which included the creation of a STEM Education Innovation Alliance and a STEM Benchmark Report Card. Gov. Jay Inslee announced in August that the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices awarded Washington state a $170,000 grant to support the governor's efforts to bolster STEM education and launch his STEM Education Innovation Alliance.

At the Summit, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also released the findings of a new report, Opportunity for All: Investing in Washington State’s STEM Education Pipeline, outlining the return on investment in STEM education and how investing in key areas now can have an immediate impact on Washington state’s economy and global competitiveness.

Currently, only 40 percent of high school students in Washington graduate with competency in the STEM topics that are critical for the state's economy. And only 9 out of 100 children born in Washington will go on to be employed in a STEM-related field—far fewer than the number of people needed to fill Washington jobs requiring STEM-related skills. BCG found that with a $650 million annual investment in STEM education, the state could realize significant economic and social benefits, including:
  • $4.5 billion in additional tax revenues and social-spending savings per year, a sevenfold return on investment
  • $12.6 billion in salary increases, lifting nearly 100,000 people out of poverty
  • 8,000 STEM jobs and an additional 16,000 indirect jobs, reducing the number of unemployed Washingtonians by 18 percent
  • 30 percent increase in women and underrepresented minorities in STEM jobs

Washington STEM CEO Patrick D’Amelio introduced The Washington STEM Framework for Action and Accountability. The Framework is a research-based tool developed to spur greater coordination, smarter investments, and clear results in STEM education. Governor Inslee's STEM Education Innovation Alliance met at the Summit and adopted the Framework and will use it to guide their actions and develop the STEM Benchmark Report Card that will monitor progress in aligning strategic plans, resources, and activities in order to prepare students for STEM-related jobs and careers, with the long-term goal of improving educational, workforce, and economic outcomes.  

"All Washington state students need to be STEM literate, prepared, and inspired for post-secondary degrees and certificates, and able to contribute to the demands of a highly-skilled and diverse STEM-driven workforce and society," said D'Amelio. "The Framework rallies communities across the state around common goals and commitments to action so Washington state will lead the nation in STEM literacy.”

Senator Andy Hill and Representative Ross Hunter also gave a preview of STEM in Olympia. They discussed the need to meet the McCleary mandate while balancing the needs of other services, that STEM education is part of the definition of basic education, and one of the best investments to improve the economic vitality of the state is to invest in STEM teachers and degrees.

There were more than 320 participants — educators, students, businesses, community leaders, and elected officials at the Summit — sharing promising practices in STEM education from across Washington state and the country including teaching the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. Desiree Hall, a teacher at Bremerton's West Hills STEM Academy shared her experience adjusting to the new standards and how they have positively impacted her teaching and her students learning

“The Common Core State Standards for Math and Next Generation Science Standards pushes my students’ thinking in ways they’ve never been challenged before,” said Hall. “While it hasn’t always been easy for me to teach and my students to learn, my kids meet the challenge in the classroom everyday. The results for my students are improved math scores and increased enthusiasm for solving real-world STEM problems.”

About Washington STEM

Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Launched in March 2011 with support from the business, education, and philanthropic communities, our goal is to reimagine and revitalize STEM education across Washington. For more information, go to


Thank you to Friends of Washington STEM for their support of the STEM Summit
  • Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
  • Battelle
  • Bonneville Environmental Foundation - Solar 4R Schools
  • Center for Career Connections at Bellevue College
  • data2insight LLC
  • Brian Dunnicliffe - Texas Instruments
  • Roberta Kramer
  • Terry Lundeen
  • Museum of Flight
  • Pearson
  • Quinault Indian Nation
  • The Rollins’ Family
  • Elaine Scott
  • Washington’s Community and Technical Colleges

Are you interested in sponsoring the STEM Summit? Email

Questions about the STEM Summit? Email

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