STEM Learning Ecosystems provide the architecture for cross-sector learning, offering all young people access to STEM-rich learning environments so they can develop important skills and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math throughout preK-16.
Strong STEM Learning Ecosystems feature dynamic collaborations among schools, out-of-school time programs, STEM expert institutions (such as museums, science centers, institutions of higher education and STEM professional associations), the private sector, community-based organizations, youth and families.
A learning ecosystem harnesses the unique contributions of all these different settings in symbiosis to deliver STEM learning for all children. Designed pathways enable young people to become engaged, knowledgeable and skilled in the STEM disciplines as they progress through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood.
Local and regional STEM ecosystems will serve an important role as members of the STEM PUSH Network by helping to identify pre-college STEM programs (PCSPs) in their urban area and connecting PCSPs involved in the STEM PUSH Network with equity-focused higher education institutions, educational organizations, and corporations committed to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups.
Local and regional STEM ecosystems will also provide opportunities for STEM PUSH Network participants to share their learning with the entire local or regional ecosystem to deeply infuse and locally spread the work of the participating PCSPs and build recognition of the work and its value to higher education admissions and other PCSPs that are not participating in the Network Improvement Community (NIC).
As the accreditation process develops, local and regional ecosystems will help to brand the process with higher education institutions to create market demand for both PCSP participation and institutionalization in admissions.