STEM Advocacy

Spokane STEM - in partnership with Washington STEM, the nine other regional Networks, and our partners - aspire to a Future Ready Washington.

Together, here is what we plan to achieve by 2025. Our work is organized in four priority initiatives:

  1. Computer science: All K-12 students have access to Computer Science learning opportunities.

  2. Career Connected learning: All high school graduates are aware of and prepared to succeed in a STEM degree or job pathway.

  3. Early math: All of Washington’s children enter kindergarten and reach 3rd grade on-track in math.

  4. Science & Engineering: All students demonstrate proficiency in science & engineering practices.

We advance this work by building partnerships, leveraging policy and expanding innovation. In all of our work we focus on equity and teaching quality.

We advocate to increase STEM access, interest and success for all students from cradle to career by focusing on investments that matter most – closing opportunity gaps, bolstering student opportunity and success and building a robust next generation talent pool. 

We will work in concert with our local elected officials, Washington STEM, our Spokane STEM partners, and Greater Spokane Inc. to advocate for legislative investment in STEM. 

We have important work occurring across the Spokane STEM Network within the four priority initiative areas. The Spokane STEM Network Executive Commitee has determined that Career Connected Learning (CCL) and Computer Science are the two initiatives we will drive forward in our region.  We will take into account the importance of equity, teacher quality and quantity, early math and science & engineering as they intersect the initiatives of CCL and Computer Science. 

Initiative 1: Career Connected Learning (CCL)

Future Ready Goal: All high school graduates are aware of and prepared to succeed in a STEM degree or job pathway.

Priority 1: Career Awareness, Career Exploration, Career Preparation.

Update and scale the online connection broker tool of access2experience supporting the reinvention of STEM career fairs through models like Business AfterSchool and to provide a virtual STEM experience for everyone.

Priority 1 will increase the development and growth of relationships between business and education resulting in engagement and advocacy at all levels around high quality STEM CCL experiences. The target of priority 1 is middle and high school students.

Priority 2: Career Awareness: Integration of Career Awareness in General Education K-12 

Develop and support a professional development program for district staff including general education core content teachers to embed career pathway information into existing units of study.

Priority 2 will convene a cohort of teachers alongside business professionals to develop and integrate career awareness into general education.  The work will target specific grade bands with the goal of creating a toolbox that includes strategies and activities that are flexible to fit multiple curriculum areas (core content areas math, science, language arts, arts, social studies). This work will also link back to Priority 1 as all teachers will be trained on a2e.

Initiative 2: Computer Science (CS)

Future Ready Goal: All K-12 students have access to Computer Science learning opportunities.

We must provide awareness for a common definition of computer science to include problem solving, computational thinking, keyboarding and coding. NEWESD 101 along with Network support will implement a regional plan to provide awareness, professional development and CCL experiences within the definition of computer science, targeting all grade levels P-16 and include community organizations. Our plan provides intentional instruction of computer science for every student within the NEWESD101 region through an educator facilitated experience.

This will be done by:

  • Professional development for P-12 teachers and  administrative leads such as superintendents, principals and technology staff

  • Professional development for educators in community organizations

  • Game Jams and Hack-a-thons targeting middle and high school students with a special focus on girls.

  • Career connected learning experiences that highlight computer science

  • Connection to higher education pathways for computer science

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