(SPOKANE, Wash.) - Spokane STEM Network today announced it will receive a multi-year grant totaling $200,000 from Washington STEM to help improve teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering and math in the region.
The Spokane STEM Network, a collaborative effort of early learning, K-12, higher education, and business and community organizations, works to transform the way we think, learn, work, and live through STEM by enhancing STEM education opportunities for all youth in the region and by increasing the number of students pursuing and achieving success in STEM careers.
"Washington STEM's investment creates important momentum in the growth of Spokane STEM," said Alisha Benson, Spokane STEM Executive Director. "Their investment compliments regional dollars from Avista, McKinstry, and the higher education institutions of Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, and Washington State University Spokane, as well as a one year grant from the Women's Funding Alliance focused on engaging girls in STEM. There is work underway to increase STEM awareness and understanding, support professional development and instruction for educators, improve post-secondary access and completion, and advocate for necessary investments in STEM. This enhances our ability to align and coordinate work throughout the Network with a focus on shared outcomes."
The grant is part of Washington STEM's nearly $4 million in investments with two main focuses: (1) Continuing the growth of seven regional STEM Networks across the state and (2) Expanding its cutting-edge professional development initiative to help teachers with implementation of the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
STEM Networks have been created in six other regions around the state: Mid-Columbia (Tri-Cities), Snohomish, South Central (Yakima), South King County, Southwest Washington, and West Sound (Bremerton). While working with Washington STEM to meet grant guidelines, each network is tailoring their approach to unique regional needs and opportunities.
"These investments will bring STEM professionals, educators, and communities together to improve STEM education and prepare our students for the STEM careers that drive Washington State's economy," said Patrick D'Amelio, Washington STEM CEO. "The networks will improve STEM education coordination in their community and across the state; and rigorous, high-quality teacher professional development will help ensure students in the classroom are STEM literate."
Additionally, Washington STEM announced the expansion of its professional development initiative for STEM teachers, called STEM-PD. Building on a successful pilot project in the Anacortes, Nooksack, Bellevue, Renton, and Highline school districts, Washington STEM is investing $2.5 million to expand the STEM-PD initiative to 45 schools statewide, the majority of which are in STEM Networks.
The professional development initiative uses state-of-the art technology that enables teachers to take charge of their own professional learning. Additionally, six teachers, with a history of excellence in teaching, will be participating and sharing their practice as they explore new ways to use technology in their professional learning. With the technology, teachers can collaborate, share and learn from one another, and request real-time coaching.
The schools participating in the professional development initiative in the Spokane region are: Barker High School, Cheney High School, Cheney Middle School, Lakeside High School, Mead High School, Michael Anderson Elementary School, Mt. Spokane High School, and Westwood Middle School. For a statewide list of schools participating in the initiative go to www.washingtonstem.org/stem-pd.
About the Spokane STEM Network
Spokane STEM is a regional nonprofit network of leaders from early learning and K-12 education, the business community, higher education and community-based organizations that serves as a catalyst for advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning and innovation. Launched in May of 2012, it is one of seven STEM networks statewide working in collaboration with Washington STEM to revitalize STEM education. The work of Spokane STEM is supported by Greater Spokane Incorporated, in partnership with the NorthEast Washington Education Service District 101, and supports broad educational attainment initiatives designed to prepare our region's youth to enter competitive 21st Century careers. Learn more at www.spokanestem.org.
About Greater Spokane Incorporated
Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI), the Spokane region's Chamber and Economic Development organization, has been creating something greater for Spokane and the Inland Northwest since 1881. GSI is charged with the mission of growing jobs and business investment through robust programs in economic and workforce development, public policy and small business. GSI is funded through a combination of private and public investment, including 1,200 private-sector member investors; Spokane County; Washington State Department of Commerce; U.S. Economic Development Administration; and the cities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney, Liberty Lake, Airway Heights, Medical Lake and Newport, as well as the Kalispel Tribe of Indians. For more information, visit www.greaterspokane.org
or contact us at 509-624-1393 or 1 800 SPOKANE.
About Washington STEM
Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Launched in March 2011 with support from the business, education, and philanthropic communities, the goal of Washington STEM is to reimagine and revitalize STEM education across Washington. For more information, go to www.washingtonstem.org