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  • Framingham State University McCarthy Center Forum - 100 State St. Framingham, MA 01701 (map)

MSEN--New Member of the STEM Ecosystems Initiative

We are excited to announce that the MetroWest STEM Education Network has been selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, SLECOP, an initiative to improve education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). MetroWest STEM Education Network will now connect with 67 other Ecosystems in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Kenya. See the press release below.

MSEN initiatives are informed by the urgency of connecting the dots between the talent acquisition needs of major STEM industries in the region and the capacity of K-16 institutions to prepare local students, especially those financially disadvantaged and from underrepresented populations, for STEM career pathways available at these major corporations. The goal of MSEN collaborating partners is to transform our organization from being a group of dynamic providers of STEM learning that often operate on parallel tracks, to an actual system of partners that, through a web of interaction and collaborations, integrate their STEM efforts toward the realization of our common vision: to articulate a continuity of efforts where youth have access to quality STEM programming throughout their K-12 and college education programs. 

To learn more, save the date for the MSEN Quarterly Meeting, open to everyone in the MetroWest community, scheduled for September 12, 2018 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at Framingham State University.

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MetroWest STEM Education Network Selected to Join Global STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice;

MetroWest Wins Support to Build Connections Among Local Schools, Businesses, Other Partners 

(FRAMINGHAM, MA – May 29, 2018) – The MetroWest STEM Education Network has been selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, SLECOP, an initiative to improve education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). MetroWest STEM Education Network will now connect with 67 other Ecosystems.

Students must have quality, applicable STEM education to enable them to thrive in today’s world. MetroWest STEM Education Network ‘s work is grounded in an understanding that jobs in STEM careers are growing rapidly and that the national average wage for STEM-related occupations is nearly double that of non-STEM careers.

STEM Learning Ecosystems build strong collaborations in schools and beyond—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, with local business and industry partners, and in science centers, libraries and other places. Ecosystems strive to enable students to connect what they learn at home, in school and out-of-school with real-world opportunities.

MetroWest is one of twelve Ecosystems being added to the global initiative. Benefits to joining the SLECOP include:
•    MetroWest STEM Education Network will be provided with professional support to build and strengthen lasting, impactful collaboration among local organizations. This work requires a big picture perspective that is sometimes hard for individual partners to see. The SLECOP will help guide productive cooperation among local leaders in education, business, afterschool programs and more – all focused on best possible outcomes for students.
•    MetroWest STEM Education Network will be able to learn from the collective experiences of other STEM Learning Ecosystem communities that are thriving across continents through a international community of practice network. 

“We’re pleased to welcome MetroWest STEM Education Network to our community of practice. The Ecosystem was selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice because its local partners have already demonstrated a deep commitment for STEM learning across multiple platforms,” said SLECOP co-founder Gerald Solomon, executive director of the Samueli Foundation.

Ron Ottinger, co-founder of the SLECOP and executive director of STEM Next Opportunity Fund added, “We were impressed with MetroWest STEM Education Network’s commitment to serving those from under-represented populations.” 

Jan Morrison, president and CEO of TIES, which provides support to the SLECOP communities, said the four-year-old initiative is credited with changing how millions of students learn and dramatically altering how educators teach STEM. “Our team is eager to develop partnership and learning objectives that are relevant for the local area.” 

“It makes sense to collaborate with like-minded organizations, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” said Irene Porro, director of the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, lead of the MetroWest STEM Education Network. “STEM Ecosystems provides design thinking and infrastructure support so that we can tailor quality STEM learning opportunities to our specific needs in MetroWest while leveraging the experiences of similar alliances across the world.” 

Members of the new MetroWest STEM Education Network include: 

Framingham State University
Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning
Massachusetts Bay Community College
Framingham Public Schools
Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce/Youth Careers
Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Mass/Metrowest
New England Section of the Optical Society of America
Massachusetts Life Sciences Center
MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
Synopsys, Inc.

Early plans for MetroWest are to announce the selection of MetroWest STEM Education Network as a new STEM Ecosystem at a meeting open to the MetroWest community scheduled for September 12, 2018 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at Framingham State University.

The following ecosystem communities were selected to become part of the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice: 

•    California: East Bay STEM Network
•    Georgia: Atlanta STEAM Learning Ecosystem
•    Hawaii: Hawai’iloa ecosySTEM Cabinet
•    Illinois: South Suburban STEAM Network
•    Kentucky: Southeastern Kentucky STEM Ecosystem
•    Massachusetts: MetroWest STEM Education Network
•    New York: Greater Southern Tier STEM Learning Network
•    North Carolina: STEM SENC (Southeastern North Carolina)
•    North Dakota: North Dakota STEM Ecosystem
•    Texas: SA/Bexar STEM/STEAM Ecosystem
•    Kenya: Kenya National STEM Learning Ecosystem
•    México: Alianza Para Promover la Educación en STEM (APP STEM)

Learn more about the initiative at stemecosystems.org. Address specific questions to info@stemecosystems.org. Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook. Learn more about the MetroWest STEM Education Network at www.metroweststem.com . Follow us on Twitter at @MetrowestSTEM and on Facebook. 

Support in MetroWest: We are grateful to Framingham State University for providing financial and operational support, in addition to office space located in the McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning.

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice is supported by the STEM Funders Network.

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