STEM Summer Institute
Improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is a critical need in the Bay Area. The impact of limited or ineffective learning in this area is seen in shortages of engineers and science and math teachers, as well as poorly qualified candidates for graduate education in these subjects. This impact is particularly felt in urban areas where school districts have difficulty in finding and retaining qualified science and math teachers. Students in these districts, many of whom are economically or educationally disadvantaged, have limited access to science and math learning in primary and middle schools. This impact is also felt in after-school programs, which seldom have the staff or capacity to take advantage of flexible learning time to promote math or science.
To address these issues, Growth Sector is working with a consortium of Bay Area post-secondary institutions, governments, and educational agencies to develop a regional teacher training pathway focused on science and math teaching and STEM related careers, and designed to create a new 5 year pathway to teaching and related careers for disadvantaged youth and adults. The centerpiece of this pathway is a new STEM Summer Institute—a 12 week intensive college-credited program integrating classroom training, labs, and paid work experience at science institutions. The goal of the Institute is to encourage students to pursue STEM teaching careers, build science and math skills, and prepare students to work as STEM learning leaders in after school programs. The 2011 pilot STEM Summer Institute will be delivered in San Francisco by a partnership including City College, San Francisco State University, and the Exploratorium; and in the East Bay by Chabot College, CSU East Bay and Lawrence Hall of Science. Graduates of both programs will continue on a 5 year teacher training pathway, while building STEM capacity at partner after school programs through serving as teacher assistants.
The STEM teacher pathway builds on the statewide after-school teacher training initiative now being piloted in eight sites around California through a partnership of the CSU Chancellor’s office, the Packard foundation, and regional education and workforce agencies. This initiative employs jobs in after-school programs as a foundation for accelerated teacher-training leading to positions in local school districts.
Growth Sector Role: Growth Sector is managing the development and implementation of the STEM Summer Institute. Growth Sector helped develop the vision for the STEM teacher-training pathway STEM Summer Institute, and is helping to form partnerships, develop program models and secure resources and support for program expansion.
Partners: San Francisco State University, CSU East Bay, the Community College of San Francisco, Chabot College, the Exploratorium, Lawrence Hall of Science, after-school employers, and community and workforce agencies.
Funders: Noyce Foundation, S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Stephen Bechtel Fund, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.