Expanding STEMworks Database Supports Successful STEM Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2016

WHAT: First programs funded in new Colorado STEMworks database
WHEN: Thursday, January 21 from 9 a.m. – noon
WHERE: Gill Foundation, 2215 Market St, Denver, CO 80205

Denver, Colo. – Four promising local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs were awarded $60,000 in grant funding for the STEM education and support they offer schools and districts around the state — RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers) Colorado, St. Vrain Valley Schools STEM and Innovation Center, Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s Urban Advantage Metro Denver, and Smithsonian Science Education Center’s LASER program.

Last year, the new Colorado STEMworks database was launched through a partnership among The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), Colorado Technology Association (CTA), and Change the Equation (CTEq) to identify and promote effective STEM education programs locally and nationally.

The four programs were awarded grants from CEI, the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Orica, and United Launch Alliance. This funding will help these educational programs impact over 400 educators and 11,000 students across Colorado.

“We must ensure scarce resources are invested wisely and result in Colorado students having the experiences and developing skills they will need to succeed in college, career, and life,” said CEI’s STEM Director Angela Baber. “Not only will this resource help to ensure a greater return in terms of student outcomes for every dollar invested in these effective programs, we now have a common way to define effectiveness in STEM education.”

Orica is partnering on the effort to ensure all students have access to the highest quality STEM programs to help students develop critical thinking skills, analytical abilities, and problem solving skills. “Our company needs a talent pipeline with these skills, and we need a way to ensure a high return on our educational investments,” said Jennifer Dunne, Orica North America Communications and Community. “We are investing in Colorado STEMworks programs because we know these programs work for kids, and in the future we want these kids to work for us.”

Baber added that other promising STEM programs not accepted into the database this year are still getting support for their programs to strengthen their applications so they can reapply.

The Colorado STEMworks database is a powerful resource for Colorado educators, students, and STEM supporters who partner to give access to the STEM education and experiences needed to succeed in Colorado’s increasingly innovation-based economy.

“The database showcases quality PK-12 STEM programs that are not only findable, but also fundable. Programs we need to develop Colorado’s tech talent pipeline of the future,” said CTA’s Chief Operating Officer Wendy Nkomo.  

Colorado is one of only two other states — Arizona and Iowa — partnering with CTEq to tap their nationally recognized STEMworks protocols to evaluate and support quality STEM programs for elementary, middle, and high school students.

The database is a milestone in the implementation of Colorado’s STEM Education Roadmap, the state’s plan to improve STEM education and outcomes for all Colorado learners. CEI is the lead organization facilitating the implementation of the STEM Roadmap and CTA is a key partner in this work.

Contact Information:
Melissa Reeves
720-502-4756 work
303-856-8098 cell

About The Colorado Education Initiative

The Colorado Education Initiative is an independent nonprofit working in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education, educators, schools, districts, and other public education stakeholders to unlock the unique potential of every student by incubating innovation, shining a spotlight on success, and investing in sustainable change that improves outcomes for all students. CEI envisions that every student in Colorado is prepared and unafraid to succeed in school, work, and life, and ready to take on the challenges of today, tomorrow, and beyond.