DENVER, June 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The STEM Funders Network (SFN) announced today at the Clinton Global Initiative / Americas Conference that it has launched an ambitious STEM Ecosystem Initiative to catalyze the creation of robust communities of practice in support of STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.) The STEM Ecosystem Initiative will invite existing communities engaged in organized collaboration to apply for grants that will support the cultivation, scale and knowledge transfer of the best practices in building strong connections among a rich array of regional STEM assets with a vision to improve student performance in STEM fields and increase participation in STEM careers.
The focus on improving STEM education in the US has been an important policy initiative at the state and federal level for nearly a decade. This focus has been in response to an alarming body of evidence that student achievement in the United States in STEM disciplines has been falling behind other developed countries for years. According to the 2012 PISA Report, "Among the 34 OECD countries, the United States performed below average in mathematics ... and is ranked 27th. Performance in reading and science ...(by US students) ranks 17 in reading ... and 20 in science. There has been no significant change in these performances over time." (Source: 2012 PISA Report/US Overview: Programme for International Student Assessment conducted by OECD; Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).
SFN Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation Gerald Solomon explained, "The goal of the program over 3 years is to support development of up to 45 STEM Learning Ecosystem communities across the country to inform STEM education policy across the educational continuum from preschool through higher education and workforce." Selected Ecosystem communities will receive a financial grant and technical support to help facilitate greater collaboration and the sharing of information within each community and across the entire Ecosystem landscape. For more information visit www.stemecosystems.org.
About the STEM Funders Network-The SFN was formed in 2011 by a small group of funders from the Grant Makers for Education community to focus attention and better coordinate funding in support of robust STEM programs across the country. The SFN members fund individually as well as collectively, and their work has supported the adoption and implementation of NGSS in all 50 states as well as dozens of STEM programs of promise. For more information visit www.stemecosystems.org.
SOURCE STEM Funders Network