STEM Shapes The World Around Us

STEM fuels local job creation across every industry – tech, aerospace, manufacturing, clean energy, health and life sciences, agriculture and food manufacturing, construction, and retail.

STEM Shapes The World Around Us

STEM fuels local job creation across every industry – tech, aerospace, manufacturing, clean energy, health and life sciences, agriculture and food manufacturing, construction, and retail.
Tana Peterman, Program Officer

Overview

We believe that equity should be at the forefront of our educational efforts in Washington. With the right supports, all students are capable of complex learning. Washington STEM uses research and community insights to determine our focus areas, critical junctures where our resources and our networks could have the biggest impact on student lives. We seek to support and amplify innovative and impactful approaches that ensure students—particularly students underrepresented in STEM fields—have meaningful learning experiences in computer science, engineering, and other areas of learning in STEM.

 

What we’re doing

We continue to work in STEM related areas of K-12 including science and engineering through the Washington State LASER network, and computer science through state and national partners. These areas are essential drivers in the work towards our impact goals. We are engaged in exciting opportunities to implement the Next Generation Science Standards and contribute to equitable and excellent K-12 science and engineering alongside these partners.

  • In 2017 we integrated operations with Washington State LASER (Leadership Assistance for Science Education Reform) which has provided leadership and support in curriculum, instructional materials, administrative and community engagement, and assessment for nearly two decades. With the regional LASER Alliances and LASER advisory, we’re identifying key needs where we can make a collective impact.
  • We’ve also partnered with Washington MESA and the South Central WA STEM Network to implement the Engineering Fellows Program, which brings teachers, college engineering students, and professional engineers together to create and implement engineering design challenges for fifth grade students. We’re seeing shifts in students’ interest, awareness and understanding of engineering and teachers have reported important shifts in their teaching practices. To share our lessons learned, best practices, and program resources, we have developed the Engineering Fellows Playbook – a free guide to facilitate implementation of NGSS aligned engineering experiences that brings engineering to life for young students.
  • Washington STEM wants to expand access to the opportunities that computer science can provide. We’re working with policy makers, schools, and community organizations to coordinate and scale implementation of computer science education across the state. Examples of this work include our successful advocacy in Washington that allows Advanced Placement Computer Science to count as a math or science credit towards graduation, as well as establishing k-12 standards for computer science, and creating access to computer science professional development scholarships for teachers.