Project Exploration is sharing two reports on The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative’s exciting year of activity and growth during 2014, titled Systematic Approaches to STEM in Out-of-School Time in Chicago. (They can be found here February 28 & here June 6.) Under the guidance of a stellar group of funders and policy-makers, the Co-op (which was founded in 2011) reconvened a group of funders, program providers, and policy makers in 2014 for a series of meetings. With input from the philanthropic, policy, and business communities, these gatherings focused on fostering discussion and setting goals for the group’s ongoing work. Two formal meetings of the group were accompanied by numerous informal conversations to:

  • Consider what city-wide STEM OST ecosystems might look like in Chicago’s future
  • Learn about local and national networks that already support Chicago’s STEM OST community
  • Learn about the Office of the Mayor’s city-wide STEM plan
  • Ensure that the Cooperative’s future work is informed by current needs

Numerous goals have been set following the meetings, including:

  • Providing an opportunity for philanthropic and policymaking stakeholders to learn about the Office of the Mayor’s citywide STEM plan
  • Strategy map delineating what and where foundations and other funding sources are supporting programs in Chicago
  • Follow up on the recommendations of the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative report, “State of STEM in Chicago in Out-of-School Time”
  • Develop a business model for the city-wide STEM strategy, including OST
  • Evaluate the system-wide approaches and models of other cities
  • Create a clearinghouse for activities, programs, and resources in STEM in OST

In 2015, the Cooperative looks forward to another exciting year as it continues to its work to improve STEM in OST by furthering progress on these defined goals. Additional collaborative work with practitioners is also planned. Please visit the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative LinkedIn page, the blog, Twitter, or email us with questions in order to get involved and join the conversation.

The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative is a multi-sector collective of individuals who initially began meeting in 2011 to collaborate on a research project aimed at mapping and analyzing STEM in out-of-school time (OST) in Chicago. The project culminated in a report entitled “State of STEM in Chicago in Out-of-School Time” (Lyon, 2013) and a day-long convening of over 200 STEM educators, OST practitioners, funders, policy makers, and others who are dedicated to improving and expanding STEM in OST.

Reference: Lyon, Gabrielle. 2013. State of STEM in Out-of-School Time in Chicago. Project Exploration (Chicago, IL): 1-23.




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