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BR STEM Network selected for National STEM Ecosystem Initiative

May 25th, 2017

(San Diego, CA – May 25, 2017) – The newly-formed Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network has just been selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems national initiative to make a significant impact on STEM education and workforce development. As announced at the U.S. News STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference today, Baton Rouge is one of 17 regional Ecosystems added to the national Initiative, which now encompasses 54 communities.

In just two years, the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative has become a thriving network of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals, joined in regional partnerships with the objective of collaborating in new and creative ways to increase equity, quality and STEM learning outcomes for all youth.

“It’s so important to consider the entire continuum of education,” said STEM Learning Ecosystem co-chairs Gerald Solomon, Executive Director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, Director of STEM Next. “The growing Community of Practice shares ideas and best practices for innovative learning that will benefit students’ individual development and prepare them for the demands of the 21st century workforce.”

The Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network, led by the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System (FEBRSS), was selected to be one of 17 incoming ecosystem communities because of a demonstrated commitment to cross-sector collaborations in schools and beyond the classroom—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, with local business and industry partners, and in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical. As STEM Ecosystems evolve, students will be able to connect what is learned in and out of school with real-world opportunities.

“It makes sense to collaborate with like-minded organizations, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” said Keila Stovall, Executive Director - FEBRSS.STEM Ecosystems provides technical assistance and infrastructure support so that we can tailor quality STEM learning opportunities to our specific needs in Baton Rouge while leveraging the experience of similar alliances across the country.” Although the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System launched the Baton Rouge Network earlier this year thanks to ExxonMobil, collaboration with the Ecosystems Initiative will ensure deeper community involvement and program expansion.

Local community businesses and organizations that have been involved in the planning of the Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network include: ExxonMobil, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, AmeriCorps VISTA, Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge, BREC, Capital One, City Year, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, ExxonMobil YMCA Retirees Association, Forte and Tablada, Future’s Fund, IBM, Istrouma Council Boy Scouts of America, Jani-King, Knock Knock Children’s Museum, Louisiana Women in Technology, Louisiana State University, New Aperio, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, Regions Bank, Southern University and A&M College, Sparkhound, Sparkhound Foundation, and Turner Industries.

Learn more about the national initiative at stemecosystems.org.

About the STEM Funders Network: The STEM Funders Network brings together grantmakers working in STEM to learn from one another, leverage their collective resources and collaborate on high-impact projects they could not undertake alone. The vision of the STEM Funders Network is that all students should have equal opportunity to engage in high-quality STEM learning experiences that will enhance their ability to succeed in a STEM career or other chosen path. See http://www.stemfundersnetwork.org

The following ecosystem communities were selected to become part of the national STEM Learning Ecosystem:

Arizona: Flagstaff STEM Learning Ecosystem

California: Region 5 STEAM in Expanded Learning Ecosystem (San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey Counties)

Louisiana: Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network

Massachusetts: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network

Michigan: Michigan STEM Partnership / Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance

Missouri: St. Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem

New Jersey: Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance (Burlington County)

New Jersey: Newark STEAM Coalition

New York: WNY STEM (Western New York State)

New York: North Country STEM Network (seven counties of Northern New York State)

Ohio: Belmont County Ohio STEM Initiative

Ohio: STEM Works East Central Ohio

Oklahoma: Mayes County STEM Alliance

Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery STEM Learning Ecosystem

Washington: The Washington STEM Network

Wisconsin: Greater Green Bay STEM Network

Canada: Symbiosis, British Columbia, Canada

STEM Ecosystems funding and local supporting members of the STEM Funders Network include: Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, KDK-Harman Foundation, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Overdeck Family Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation, Samueli Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Simons Foundation, Steinman Foundation, STEM Next (Supported by the Noyce Foundation), and Tiger Woods Foundation.

For more information, please contact info@stemecosystems.org.

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