The N.C. Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (SMT) Center has been selected as one of the 27 pilot projects throughout the United States for the STEM Ecosystems Initiative launched by the STEM Funders Network.

This project, built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people.

The SMT Center’s selection is a demonstration of their leadership in developing a strong STEM community and recognition of their commitment to continue the work.

“These innovative communities are providing STEM learning opportunities for millions of young people both in and out of school,” said SFN co-chairs Gerald Solomon, executive director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, executive director, Noyce Foundation. “It is an initiative to design the kind of infrastructure that ensures that STEM learning is truly ‘everywhere’ and is a top priority for communities supporting youth to develop the skills and knowledge they need for success in a global workforce.”

“We are thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Dr. Sam Houston, CEO and president of the SMT Center. “North Carolina is a model for the nation in building connections across STEM communities. We look forward to sharing best practices on building capacity in this area.”

The 27 communities comprising the initial cohort of a national Community of Practice have demonstrated cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning in schools and beyond the classroom – in afterschool and summer programs, at home, in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical – that sparks young people’s engagement, develops their knowledge, strengthens their persistence, and nurtures their sense of identity and belonging in the STEM disciplines. As these STEM Ecosystems evolve, a student will be able to connect what they learn in and out of school with real-world learning opportunities, leading to STEM-related careers and opportunities.

Launched in Denver at the Clinton Global Initiative, the STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative will form a national Community of Practice with expert coaching and support from leaders such as superintendents, scientists, industry and others. The first gathering of this Community of Practice will be hosted at the White House in November.

For a complete list of sites selected to join the STEM Ecosystems Initiative’s first cohort creating a STEM Community of Practice please visit this website stemecosystems.org.

The STEM Funders Network was formed in 2011 by a small group of funders from the Grant Makers for Education community to focus attention and better coordinate funding in support of robust STEM programs across the country. The SFN members fund individually as well as collectively and their work has supported the adoption and implementation of NGSS in all 50 states as well as dozens of STEM programs of promise.

Ecosystem funding members of the STEM Funders Network include: Samueli Foundation, Noyce Foundation, Overdeck Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, and Simons Foundation with support by Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, KDK Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation and Tiger Woods Foundation.