STEM Pipeline Blog / August 7, 2019
GLBR Out-of-School Time STEM Network
In terms of education and learning across the lifespan, only a small percentage of time is actually spent in formal learning settings such as schools. In fact, as lifelong learners, most of our knowledge and skills are gained from experiences in out-of-school time settings such as the community, home, after–school programs, summer experiences, etc.
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Due to the immense need to develop a workforce with the skills to be successful in our current and future economy, our region (state and nation) must do better at leveraging out-of-school time assets to cultivate talent and grow human capital.
Under the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Impact Initiative, the Out-of-School Time STEM Network is hyper-focused on “Cradle-to-Career” human capital development. It aims to align informal learning activities to meet the talent needs of employers. This is the foundation of our work and will ultimately help to develop human capacities and skills needed to attract and retain businesses to the region.
The Out-of-School Time STEM Network is grounded in a Regional Action Plan (developed in 2016) with the following priorities:
- STEM Awareness and Communications
- Family Engagement in STEM (at home and in the community)
- STEM Access & Equity
- Alignment of in-school and out-of-school time STEM learning standards and practices
- Community partnerships and place-based experiential learning
- Funding & Sustainability
Regional Action Plan
Influenced by partnership with the STEM Learning Ecosystems, 2016 Strategic Plan, 2017-2018 Revised Priorities and the MI STEM and Marshal Plan for Talent initiatives, these are priorities for 2019-20:
- Increase alignment of educator professional development (PD) and curriculum content across the in-school and out-of-school time system/s. Support high quality STEM curriculum, soft skill development, computer science offerings & related content for ALL educators (formal/informal educators, in-school/out-of-school educators, etc.)
- Leverage PD & training assets such as Edupaths, annual educator PD (i.e., BAISD Fall Conference), REMC Makers, Click2Science, Digital Badges, Michigan Afterschool Alliance and Michigan After-School Partnership, etc.
- Increase access to grant opportunities and other funding resources via the https://www.stempipeline.com/out-of-school-time/ and LiveBinder: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=1955867
- Increase scale (and/or awareness) of high quality before/afterschool programming, including OST STEM
learning experiences & programs such as Makerspaces/FUSE Studios, Bedtime Math, Math in the Mail, summer camps, STEM festival/s, FIRST Clubs, Place – based & Experiential Learning, and STEM – rich institutions (museums, zoo, outdoor education & nature centers, etc.) Leverage outreach partners such as Great Lakes Bay Parents
- Increase access and equity of high quality OST STEM learning experiences. Purpose: The GLBR already has many STEM programs & assets. At-risk populations in the GLBR sometimes experience barriers to participating in high quality STEM learning; therefore, strategies will be sustained in order to afford under-served youth populations (and families) greater access to STEM programs & assets.
Here are just a few initiatives and grants that are a part of the OST STEM Network:
– Implement Access/Equity Mini-Grants
– Implement GLBR STEM Passports (target early childhood birth – 3rd grade)
– Implement Access/Equity TRANSPORTATION Mini-Grants (Saginaw pilot)
For more information, contact Rich VanTol, OST STEM Network Lead firstname.lastname@example.org or 989-233-8729
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