The Policy Forum is a 501(c) non-profit entity created by the STEM Education Coalition to bring a deeper focus to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education policy issues through public events, partnerships with state and local education stakeholders, policy roundtables, and other activities designed to improve our understanding of key STEM issues.
Recent Events and Updates
On Wednesday, May 29, the STEM Education Coalition hosted a Capitol Hill briefing to discuss a range of policy areas related to bringing more people into the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce with “near” skills, meaning those who would be able to gain employment or improve their employability through short-term educational opportunities, on-the-job training, stackable credentials, 2-year degrees, and other non-traditional pathways. The briefing slides can be found here. A distinguished group of panelists headlined the briefing to talk about specific approaches to the issue and how their organizations are approaching solutions. Karen Horting, Executive Director and CEO, Society of Women Engineers, highlighted SWE’s STEM Reentry Task Force as an effort to increase the pipeline of female STEM sector talent with women who are returning from career breaks. Dr. Terri Taylor Chambers, Director of Learning and Career Development, American Chemical Society, explained ACS’ multidimensional approach of career exploration and professional development for chemists looking for workforce opportunities through their ACS College to Career program and ChemIDP program. The Honorable Jared Solomon, Maryland House of Delegates, referenced the EARN Maryland Program and the More Jobs for Marylanders Incentive Program as strategies to connect industry and government to expand workforce development opportunities for Maryland citizens. And Nicole Isaac, Senior Director of North America Policy, LinkedIn, displayed LinkedIn’s Economic Graph and underscored LinkedIn’s ability to provide industry, education, and other stakeholders dynamic data trends that can enhance the relationship between job-seekers with industry. Many thanks to our briefing sponsors:
The STEM Education Coalition and the Policy Forum are excited to present our 2018 Annual Report! 2018 was an eventful, impactful year. This report highlights the activities, accomplishments, and major media coverage of our work over the past year. Coalition staff met with more than 100 legislators and their staffs, hosted briefings attended by more than 600 policymakers, and testified in front of congressional committees. The entire STEM Education Coalition team thanks our members and looks forward to a productive 2019. Read the full report here.
On Tuesday, March 19, the STEM Education Coalition hosted a Capitol Hill Briefing on major policy issues facing the 116th Congress. Speakers included: Abigail Juris-Levy, Co-Director, STEM Portfolio, Education Development Center; Della Cronin, Principal, Bose Public Affairs Group; and Allyson Knox, Director of Education Policy, Microsoft. Coalition Executive Director, James Brown, moderated the conversation, which examined how Congress can support more efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in STEM activities, STEM in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and the importance of getting students involved in STEM learning in the earlier grades.
On Wednesday, November 28, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education Coalition hosted STEM industry experts and STEM education policy experts for a briefing to discuss the findings and implications of a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “New Approaches to Engaging Middle and High School Students in Science and Engineering.” Panelists outlined how research suggests that teaching students by encouraging them to ask questions and research those questions more effectively teaches them the skills needed to succeed in college and in the workforce than simply memorizing facts. Panelists also discussed educational inequity and a lack of diversity in the STEM field. They offered solutions to some of these problems, such as mentorship programs for underrepresented students in STEM fields and online laboratories for students in rural schools. One especially notable solution mentioned was that schools implement the kind of modern, culturally relevant learning discussed in the report because it would allow students to see the relevancy of STEM in their own lives and in their communities. The full report can be found here and a power point presentation from the briefing can be found here.
- Coalition and Afterschool Alliance Send Joint Letter to Vermont HHS Secretary on New Afterschool STEM Initiative
At the request of our state partner, Vermont Afterschool, the Coalition and the Afterschool Alliance sent a letter to Vermont HHS Secretary Al Gobeille praising the state’s recent decision devote $600,000 from the state’s tobacco settlement to support afterschool programs with a focus on STEM education. The purpose of the letter was to ensure that the Vermont HHS, which is charged with setting up the new program and has a great degree of discretion in doing so, adheres to the original vision of the legislature, which was for an afterschool program focused on providing high-quality STEM experiences for students in high-need areas. Our Vermont partners see this new one-time statewide funding as an opportunity to demonstrate the value of the state’s first STEM focused educational initiative. The joint letter is linked below. Joint Letter to Vermont HHS Secretary of Afterschool STEM Initiative – f…
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