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New STEM Initiative Launches in California

A new statewide initiative in California has awarded three $70,000 grants to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in out-of-school settings.

Awards were given to three regional intermediary partnerships that will assist California's after-school and summer programs improve opportunities for STEM instruction through partnerships with schools, higher education, community organizations, and businesses. The Noyce, Samueli, and S.D. Bechtel foundations provided funding support for the initiative.

The grantees for the Power of Discovery: STEM 2 include:

  • A partnership between the Alameda County Office of Education, Gateways East Bay STEM Network, and the Tech Museum of Innovation in the Bay Area;
  • The Orange County STEM Initiative the San Diego County Office of Education the southern part of the state; and,
  • The Sacramento County Office of Education

A nine member council of education leaders will oversee the project, which is expected to influence both in school and out-of-school STEM instruction in California.

This past year, I wrote about the budding work of the California STEM learning network in a story on Techbridge, a STEM after-school program in the Bay Area for underserved girls.

Other, smaller scale efforts also seem to be afoot in the state: a local foundation in Oceanside, near San Diego, donated close to $70,000 to three local out of school providers to improve their STEM curriculum.

"This initiative is leveraging over 4,500 statewide after-school programs to engage students in high quality STEM learning opportunities that will increase knowledge and interest in STEM, and address gaps in the employment market," Jeff David, program director of the California AfterSchool Network said in a press release regarding statewide initiative.

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