Rec2Tech at Magee Rec Center / photo: Ben Filio

Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem

Expanding opportunities and enhancing quality in STEM Learning.

The Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem cultivates diverse and equitable high quality STEM learning opportunities, addressing real world challenges, for all students in our region with an eye toward building a scientifically-informed citizenry, and creative, prosperous, and resilient population.

What's the Ecosystem?

The Pittsburgh STEM Ecosystem seeks to understand the STEM learning landscape within a 5-county region surrounding the City of Pittsburgh with the hopes of articulating pathways for STEM learning that connects formal and informal experiences for all of our region’s children from early childhood to postsecondary education.

Representing more than 30 member organizations including schools, museums, higher education partners, professional development agencies, workforce initiatives, and others, the ecosystem is working to develop a collaborative Regional Vision, Goals, and Metrics for continuous improvement in improving STEM learning opportunities, especially in under-served communities.

The Pittsburgh Regional STEM Ecosystem is a member of the national STEM Learning Ecosystems community of practices. Launched in 2015 by the STEM Funders Network, today there are 54 communities across the United States building cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning.

Why STEM?

The great questions of the future—responding to climate change, managing natural resources, living with artificial intelligence—will demand decision-makers with strong grasp of science, technology, engineering, and mat. Even young people who aren’t destined for careers in STEM fields will need to be STEM literate.

Then there is also the economic imperative. STEM jobs are growing faster than those in other professions, according to Change the Equation. But many American students—particularly racial minorities, low-income students, and girls—do not end up qualified for STEM fields. Only 30 percent of high school seniors who took the ACT in 2013 were deemed ready for college-level work in science. In higher education, nearly half the bachelor’s degree students who started with a STEM major between 2003 and 2009 switched to a non-STEM major or dropped out, according to the U.S. Department of Education. As the Students on STEM survey shows, young people are interested in science—but without engaging, accessible learning experiences, that interest wanes and they miss opportunities for success.

 

STEM Resources

  • Background
    • STEM Ecosystem Initiative
      The STEM Ecosystem Initiative is a national effort with nearly 40 communities selected from across the United States to compose a national Community of Practice that has demonstrated cross-sector collaborations to deliver rigorous, effective preK-16 instruction in STEM learning. These collaborations happen in schools and beyond the classroom—in afterschool and summer programs, at home, in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical. Members of the STEM Ecosystem share resources, goals, networking, and partnership.
    • Change the Equation
      Change the Equation is a coalition of corporate members leading a movement to ensure that every young person in the U.S. is STEM literate through high-quality STEM experiences that spark a lifelong love of learning.
    • 100Kin10
      100Kin10 is a national network committed to solving one of our country’s most pressing challenges– giving kids a great STEM education– by adding 100,000 more, excellent STEM teachers to America’s classrooms by 2021.
    • STEM Jobs
      The STEM Jobs “Do What You Love” message is not simply a tag line, it is the kind of culture-changing approach that schools, students, and parents need to address the challenging issues of under-representation, disinterest, and disconnect that underlie the national skills gap in critical technical jobs.
    • Work to Do
      Study of the role in STEM Education in improving the region’s workforce.
  • K-12
    • Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathways
      The Carnegie STEM Excellence Pathway is a free, strategic planning process to improve STEM education at your school or district.
    • Math & Science Collaborative
      The Math & Science Collaborative is a program of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit that focuses on STEM education. The MSC brings innovative and effective approaches in curriculum and instruction to the region, preparing educators to support all students for work and career in the 21st century.
    • ASSET STEM Education
      Through ASSET, schools and educational organizations access proven and cost-effective tools, resources and strategies to advance teaching and learning in the classroom and beyond.
  • Out-of-School
    • Afterschool Alliance
      Afterschool programs play a major role in providing meaningful science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences to diverse groups of youth. Explore The Afterschool Alliance’s resources for all things STEM and afterschool!
    • Project Accelerate
      A program of the Pennsylvania Statewide Youth Development Network, Project Accelerate seeks to increase awareness and facilitate capacity building of high quality, innovative, informal STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in out-of-school time (OST) settings throughout Pennsylvania