Oakland University receives $10K AT&T grant to support STEM outreach workshops

Oakland_University_LogoThe Oakland University Foundation has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the AT&T Aspire Program. The grant is specifically targeted to support K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Outreach Workshops for high school students offered by the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department and the Pawley Lean Institute at Oakland University.

“Through AT&T Aspire, we are investing in students today – at home, in the classroom, at work – to prepare them for success tomorrow,” said Jan Mallon, contributions manager for AT&T. “We see tremendous value in OU’s program and are pleased to award a contribution to the Oakland University Foundation.”

The K-12 STEM Outreach Workshops promote Industrial and Systems Engineering and Lean Learning by introducing ISE as a field of study to high school students from both a college and career perspective. They are offered during normal school hours and conducted in the OU Engineering Center.

“Led by Bill Edwards and other ISE faculty, visiting high school students get to conduct hands-on projects in Lean and Product Lifecycle Management while working with our ISE students and alumni,” said Robert Van Til, Ph.D., chair and Pawley professor of lean studies in the ISE Department.

There are multiple components to each session, including:

• Hands on, tool orientation
• Lean/Continuous Improvement exercises
• Ergonomics using simulation tools
• Product Lifecycle Management
• Manufacturing Systems Simulation

“This grant can be used to support student expenses as we expand to multiple high schools in Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne County,” said Dennis Wade, director of the Pawley Lean Institute. “In particular, the exposure to ISE will spark interest in the STEM fields of study for both education and potential careers within engineering, and we thank AT&T for their support.”

According to Wade, the $10,000 grant is actually the second grant from AT&T. The first grant, also for $10,000, was received in December 2015.

“Supporting efforts like this are important for students as they prepare for a career but are also important to employers, like AT&T, as we look to find and hire well-trained people,” said Mathew Resch, director of public affairs for AT&T Michigan.

For more information about the Pawley Lean Institute, visit http://www.oakland.edu/lean. To learn more about ISE, visit http://www.oakland.edu/ise.

Sean Delaney
sdelaney@oakland.edu, (248) 370-3139

STEM Learning Ecosystems Selects Michigan STEM Partnership to Join National Initiative and Receive Support to Build Regional Partnerships Focused on STEM Education Pathways

STEM Funders Network to support Michigan STEM Partnership’s Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance in collaborations that impact youth from pre-school through college and engage students during and after school

STEM Ecosystems logoThe newly-formed Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance, formed by the Michigan STEM Partnership, has just been selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems national initiative to make a significant impact on STEM education and workforce development. As announced at the U.S. News STEM Solutions National Leadership Conference on May 25th, Southeast Michigan is one of 17 regional Ecosystems added to the national Initiative, which now encompasses 54 communities.

In just two years, the STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative has become a thriving network of hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals, joined in regional partnerships with the objective of collaborating in new and creative ways to increase equity, quality and STEM learning outcomes for all youth.

“It’s so important to consider the entire continuum of education,” said STEM Learning Ecosystem co-chairs Gerald Solomon, Executive Director, Samueli Foundation, and Ron Ottinger, Director of STEM Next. “The growing Community of Practice shares ideas and best practices for innovative learning that will benefit students’ individual development and prepare them for the demands of the 21st century workforce.”

The Michigan STEM Partnership’s Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance was selected to be one of 17 incoming ecosystem communities because of a demonstrated commitment to cross-sector collaborations in schools and beyond the classroom—in after-school and summer programs, at home, with local business and industry partners, and in science centers, libraries and other places both virtual and physical. As STEM Ecosystems evolve, students will be able to connect what is learned in and out-of-school with real-world opportunities.

“It makes sense to collaborate with like-minded organizations, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy,” said Gary Farina, Executive Director of the Michigan STEM Partnership and its’ Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance. “STEM Ecosystems provides technical assistance and infrastructure support so that we can tailor quality STEM learning opportunities to our specific needs in Southeast Michigan while leveraging the experience of similar alliances across the country.”

Early plans for [the Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance] are to expand representation on the Alliance leadership council, including all levels of education, business/corporate members, community, service and professional organizations, government, and other stakeholders to begin regional development planning efforts.

The following ecosystem communities were selected to become part of the national STEM Learning Ecosystem:

  • Arizona: Flagstaff STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • California: Region 5 STEAM in Expanded Learning Ecosystem (San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey Counties)
  • Louisiana: Baton Rouge STEM Learning Network
  • Massachusetts: Cape Cod Regional STEM Network
  • Michigan: Michigan STEM Partnership / Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance
  • Missouri: Louis Regional STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • New Jersey: Delran STEM Ecosystem Alliance (Burlington County)
  • New Jersey: Newark STEAM Coalition
  • New York: WNY STEM (Western New York State)
  • New York: North Country STEM Network (seven counties of Northern New York State)
  • Ohio: Belmont County Ohio STEM Initiative
  • Ohio: STEM Works East Central Ohio
  • Oklahoma: Mayes County STEM Alliance
  • Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery STEM Learning Ecosystem
  • Washington: The Washington STEM Network
  • Wisconsin: Greater Green Bay STEM Network
  • Canada: Symbiosis, British Columbia, Canada

Learn more about the national initiative at stemecosystems.org. Address specific questions to info@stemecosystems.org. Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook. Local STEM information can be found at MISTEMPartnership.com, and local STEM conversations can be joined on Twitter @STEMPartnership and on Facebook at MISTEMPartnership.

Michigan STEM Partnership Announces Support for 2nd Annual NHacks Hack-a-thon for High School Students

Michigan’s STEM leadership non-profit supports high school student-focused hack-a-thon event designed to encourage students to pursue computer science-related college education and careers

nHacks logoMay 29, 2017, Howell, MI – The Michigan STEM Partnership, a non-profit that promotes the impact of STEM careers on economic development in the state and strives to influence future career decisions of today’s students, today announced its support of the 2nd annual NHacks High School Hack-a-thon event taking place on Saturday, June 17th at Flextech Academy in Novi, MI. The event is FREE to attend for all high school students, but does require advance registration on the event website at http://nhacks.org.

nHacks is Michigan’s first hack-a-thon focused on bringing together a community of high-school students, at all levels of experience and diverse backgrounds, to engage in collaboration and innovation toward the creation of websites, mobile apps, or even hardware hacks.

Students attending the event will receive free refreshments, T-shirts and swag from sponsors, as well as workshops and mentoring by computer science professionals from small business, enterprises and universities on topics such as web, Android and iOS development and more.

As part of its sponsorship of the NHacks event, the Partnership will encourage its student audience to register to participate in the event, and will encourage its computer science professionals audience to volunteer as mentors or judges for the event.

Underscoring the importance of events such as NHacks, Michigan STEM Partnership Executive Director, Gary Farina, states, “Careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields are the fastest-growing careers in the global marketplace, they’re also the most in-demand jobs in Michigan – particularly jobs requiring computer science knowledge. Unfortunately, our educational institutions are suffering a lack of resources and teachers able to provide this training to today’s students, which puts our students at a disadvantage. Therefore, we encourage, and will support, efforts designed to expose students to education and hands-on opportunities to explore these careers and to interact with industry professionals who can share their expertise and experiences. We believe it will be beneficial for our student population in Michigan, as well as Michigan’s workforce development efforts.”

Michigan STEM Partnership Announces Launch of Statewide STEM Careers Video Showcase Initiative


STEM video initiative logoMichigan’s STEM leadership non-profit announces partnership with Mobile Technology Association of Michigan and Inforum to collect and share videos from STEM professionals to enable student awareness of, and encourage student participation in, STEM career opportunities

May 24, 2017, Howell, MI – The Michigan STEM Partnership, a statewide non-profit organization, today announced a joint initiative with the Mobile Technology Association and Inforum to collect and share videos from STEM professionals in order to enable student, parent and educator awareness of STEM careers and the opportunities they provide, and to encourage student participation in STEM careers.

Known as the ‘Michigan STEM Careers Video Showcase’, this initiative will feature self-produced smartphone videos from MTAM and Inforum members, as well as others working in STEM-related positions across a wide diversity of industries throughout Michigan. These STEM professionals will be providing videos, typically 3 – 5 minutes in length, that will discuss the work they do, the type of education required, what they love about their job, and the “opportunity” from their perspective (ie: why students should pursue that career). These videos will then be hosted on the Michigan STEM Partnership website at MISTEMPartnership.com/VideoShowcase for review and use by students, parents and educators, as well as shared in various media assets and public presentations by representatives of the involved partner organizations.

Goals for this initiative include:

  • Increasing student awareness of the wide variety of STEM-related careers, requirements to work in those careers, and the opportunity those careers provide for exciting, challenging and lucrative careers
  • Increasing parent awareness of the same in order to enable parents to see the value in supporting their children to go into STEM-related careers – particularly females and minorities who are currently severely under-represented in many STEM fields
  • Providing educators with a tool they can use as part of their curriculum
  • Providing Michigan businesses an opportunity to showcase their firms and their employees as a potential recruitment tool
  • Providing STEM employees across every industry in Michigan an opportunity to showcase their expertise

Careers expected to be represented in the video showcase include:

  • Connected / autonomous vehicles and other forms of transportation
  • Transportation management systems
  • Manufacturing; distribution, resource automation, fluid/processes
  • Healthcare and life sciences
  • Mobile App Development
  • Cybersecurity
  • Entertainment
  • Security / public safety
  • Law enforcement / defense
  • Energy / utilities
  • Consumer / home products and services
  • Building management; commercial, institutional, industrial
  • Many more!

The partner organizations are currently accepting videos from STEM professionals in Michigan to be part of the ‘Michigan STEM Careers Video Showcase’. Those interested can obtain details for participating at http://MiSTEMPartnership.com/VideoShowcase.

The Michigan STEM Partnership receives grant fro Bosch Community Fund to support STEM education

Bosch Community Fund grant to be utilized for research, planning and organizational development in support of STEM education and workforce development initiatives in Michigan

bosch logoFebruary 21, 2017, Howell, MI – The Michigan STEM Partnership is pleased to announce that it has received a $26,000.00 grant from the Bosch Community Fund.  This is a 12-month planning grant to be used to further define the Partnership’s opportunities to improve the evolving STEM landscape in Michigan.  Information gathered through research, assessment and evaluation will be used to identify the necessary role, structure, functions and capacity needed for the Partnership to bolster STEM training and workforce development activities statewide. This approach will serve to:

  1. Guide organizational vision and strategy
  2. Support the regional alignment of STEM activities
  3. Establish shared measurement practices
  4. Build positive public will and engagement
  5. Engage Michigan’s business community
  6. Advocate policy
  7. Mobilize resources
  8. Drive funding initiatives

The funding provided will provide the Partnership with resources to research and document the evolving status of STEM in Michigan and benchmark against effective models from across the U.S. while collecting data and reporting on common STEM metrics in Michigan. Additionally, the Partnership will identify the elements that are needed for a quality STEM program and determine what model is required for credentialing instructional STEM programs.

STEM information, initiatives, and resources developed through this grant will inform educators, businesses, policy makers, parents and students about opportunities to improve STEM curriculum and activities in the state. The Partnership will continue to secure additional operational and development funding for activities to further research and report on STEM.

“We are grateful to the Bosch Community Fund for recognizing these critical needs for the evolution of STEM education & workforce development in the state of Michigan” said Linda Daichendt, Co-Chair of the Michigan STEM Partnership Strategic Directions Committee. “The grant funding will provide the opportunity for an objective review of the STEM landscape in Michigan through research and analysis, and allow the Partnership to align its organizational structure and services to benefit all STEM stakeholders.”

Michigan STEM Partnership Invites STEM Stakeholder Ad Hoc Membership in Work Committees and Task Force Groups

To increase STEM awareness, engagement and effectiveness statewide, the Michigan STEM Partnership is inviting individuals from education, business, government and non-profits to participate in Work Committees and/or Task Force Groups that match their areas of interest

MI STEM Partnership logoLANSING – January 8, 2017 – The Michigan STEM Partnership, a statewide non-profit organization, is extending an invitation to STEM stakeholders statewide, including those from: education, business, government, and non-profits, to participate in the organization’s designated Work Committees and Task Force Groups in order to enable a broader voice in the policies and initiatives of the state’s leading STEM organization.

Individuals may opt to participate in the following standing Work Committees and/or purpose-specific Task Force Groups:

  • Communications Committee
  • Strategic Directions Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Governance Committee
  • Fundraising Task Force
  • Planning Grant Task Force
  • Professional Development Grant Task Force
  • Grant Application Task Force
  • Corporate Partnership Program Planning Task Force

Details about the objectives of the Work Committees and Task Force Groups, as well as an Application to Participate, can be found on the Michigan STEM Partnership website at http://MISTEMPartnership.com/StakeholderParticipation. Those applying will also need to submit a resume according to the instructions on the Application form.

All ‘Applications to Participate’ will be reviewed by the Board’s Executive Committee, as well as the leadership of each Work Committee and/or Task Force Group that has been applied for. Applicants will be contacted by a representative of the MI STEM Partnership in order to ask have their questions answered and to learn more about the Partnership and these participation opportunities.

According to MI STEM Partnership Executive Director Gary Farina, “The Partnership wants to ensure that it is an inclusive organization representing the needs of all stakeholder groups having an interest in the growth of STEM throughout Michigan. Our Board of Directors believes that opening up membership in these Work Committees and Task Force Groups to individuals outside of the statewide Board of Directors will allow us to obtain wider input from a broad range of perspectives that will enable us to better serve the STEM-related needs of the residents of the State of Michigan.”

The Michigan STEM Partnership Receives Grant from Consumers Energy Foundation for Training Educators in STEM

Consumers Energy Foundation grant will facilitate professional development training programs for teachers in order to increase availability of STEM educators in Michigan classrooms

Consumers-Energy-logo-1024x370-500x181December 13, 2016 – Howell, Michigan – The Michigan STEM Partnership, a statewide non-profit organization, has received a $24,500.00 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation to support a STEM professional development program for educators in Michigan.

The Partnership’s statewide effort to provide a staff development program will provide resources for educators to better align STEM instruction to essential skills required in critical Michigan business sectors.

Besides ensuring the delivery of STEM curriculum across multiple grade levels, the initiative will assist educators in engaging businesses in the instructional design of STEM education. Through this process, educators can better align STEM instruction to talent development needs of critical Michigan industries. The initiative will also show educators how to design in and out-of-classroom activities that relate to business environments. Funding from the Consumer Energy Foundation grant will allow for a comprehensive model design and the piloting and refinement of one or two of the model segments.

 “We routinely receive requests for teacher in-service activities that provide an understanding of the definition of STEM education,” said Paul Agosta, Board Chair for the Michigan STEM Partnership. “Through this grant we will be able to design and implement an educator training program that will enable teachers to develop a continuum of STEM-based instructional activities aligned to both student interest and regional talent needs, addressing a crucial need for educators throughout the state.”

“Consumers Energy is committed to providing opportunities for the next generation of Michigan students to study science, technology, engineering and math,” said David Mengebier, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “We are pleased to help the Michigan STEM Partnership to train teachers, not only for the good of employers like us but the entire state.”

By participating in this program, educators will understand the operational elements of a process-based STEM approach and will have the skills, knowledge, and resources to engage business and industry and to ensure a direct connection between instructional outcomes with career and college preparation needs.

Michigan STEM Partnership Intends to Become Principal Resource for STEM Education in State, Launches New Digital Hub

Statewide STEM leadership non-profit launches resource and efforts to facilitate growth of STEM in Michigan and enable increased awareness of workforce opportunities in STEM fields

mi-stem-partnership-logoThe Michigan STEM Partnership, a statewide non-profit organization, has launched a new digital resource hub and expanded business sector representation on its board in an effort to become the primary contributor to the growth and development of STEM Education in the state.

At a time where only 37 percent of Michigan high school juniors were rated “college ready” in math by the SAT college admission test, the Michigan STEM Partnership has launched its new digital hub, mistempartnership.com, to become the principal source on STEM resources for employers, educators, students, parents and professional organizations. The organization’s broad actions will include, but not be limited to, conducting primary research, offering information on grant opportunities, connecting stakeholders, and providing an online resource for STEM information required by the various stakeholders.

“The opportunity STEM provides the state’s economy is incredible,” said Gary Farina, Executive Director, Michigan STEM Partnership. “While we strive to influence students’ career decisions as they prepare for their future, we know we can also help businesses, educators and current professionals grow by making STEM resources available.”

The new digital hub provides stakeholders access to various STEM resources and information, including:

  • Local, state and national STEM events
  • Engagement opportunities with the STEM community through social media, events, surveys, blog and news archives
  • STEM research data
  • Primary research

In addition to the organization’s digital hub, efforts are in place to develop a regional structure for the organization to more efficiently tackle localized STEM needs.   The Michigan STEM Partnership is aligning its regional structure with the state’s designated Prosperity Regions. The Prosperity Region Structure enables direct engagement with stakeholders for the dissemination of programs and resources at the regional and local level. Through this structure, the Partnership is able to connect schools and teachers with STEM providers and partners to support talent development and K-12 STEM education programs throughout Michigan.

The Michigan STEM Partnership maintains connections with local, regional and national STEM organizations as well as business/industry and other stakeholders to facilitate awareness and sharing of best practices, analysis, information distribution and provision of quality STEM education tools to grow tomorrow’s innovators. These efforts will also result in creating a quality STEM education culture across the Midwest region of the U.S.

In the future, the Michigan STEM Partnership looks to expand its capabilities by offering grant opportunities, among other actions.

MI Film Office Achieves Success in 1st Year Partnership with Google CS First Program, Expands Benefits to Participants

Colorful Google CS First LogoThe Michigan Film & Digital Media Office (MFDMO) unveiled a partnership with the Google CS First Education Program in November 2015 and launched the program statewide in January 2016. Since then it was embraced by schools around the state, and is still currently being offered as part of a summer school activity or ‘camp’.

Because of the great success of the program here in Michigan, Google is now utilizing our state as a model to get more states and regions involved in the CS First Program! They started by giving us our own landing page about the program here in Michigan to show the success we’ve achieved, check it out HERE. More exciting announcements are coming!

Here in Michigan, we have a few announcements of our own! The MFDMO is adding several benefits to the program for participating schools that are new to the MFDMO partnership, or returning schools that register their club(s) for the 2016-2017 school year:  headphones and digital badging!


Beginning September 1, the MFDMO will provide up to 20 headphones per school that joins for the first time in 2016-2017, and up to 20 headphones for any school participated in 2015=2016 and that confirms their ongoing participation as of September 1 in the MFDMO partnership for the 2016-2017 school year.

A new school must sign up for the partnership with the MFDMO, and enroll a minimum of 20 students to be eligible to receive the headphones. A returning school must verify their ongoing participation for the 2016=2017 school year by updating their participation data (a reminder will be sent on or around September 1) and enroll a minimum of 20 students in the program.

To place a request for headphones, the CS First contact person for your school should send an email request to csfirst@michigan.org, and include a delivery address for the school where the headphones should be sent. We will monitor new school signups and renewals that we receive online beginning September 1 to verify your eligibility, and headphones will be shipped during early to mid-September.

NOTE:  Each school, homeschool, or other youth-centered organization is considered one entity; maximum number of headphones per school/entity is 20. Homeschools will be limited to one set of headphones.

Digital Badging

In partnership with Google and the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office (MFDMO) is excited to offer students the ability to share their success in the CS First program by earning a digital badge specific to the completion of Digital Badges from Google CS & MI Film & MI Eductheir CS First Club theme. The CS First Digital Badging Program is an EXCLUSIVE opportunity for clubs that have signed up for the CS First program through the MFDMO and in partnership with Google. Please click here for more information on the digital badging program and how to access the badges.

We at the Michigan STEM Partnership encourage you to learn more about the MFDMO partnership and the CS First Program effort to ensure Michigan youth have access to this unique curriculum that requires no previous computer science experience.

Joining this effort is an easy, two-step process:

  1. Complete the MFDMO online registration form.
  2. Start a club and receive lesson plans on the CS First website.

Should you have questions on this program, or either of these new benefits, you can reach out to Jenell Leonard, Commissioner of the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office.

Inner-city Students in Grand Rapids Learn How to Code Apps

MI Labs - MainWith assistance from Michigan Software Labs, a member of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM), on Wednesday, July 20th, a group of elementary students at the Gerald R. Ford Academic Center were introduced to software development. With the recent excitement around Poke’mon Go, the students were very interested in learning how to develop apps. The Oakdale Neighbor’s Initiative was put on by volunteers from Michigan Software Labs as a way for students to be exposed to an important skill they might not otherwise have access to learning.

Josh Hulst, a Partner at Michigan Software Labs, said “we were really impressed with these MI Labs2young students and their ability to learn how to code.” The goal of the session was to have student write a simple program that could be run like an app on a table device. The students learned skills such as writing simple code commands, starting a program, and arranging characters on a screen.

MI Labs3The tablets were donated, and all of the instructors were volunteers who are professional mobile app developers. The content was part of ScratchJr. ScratchJr. teaches young children (ages 5 – 7) how to program their own interactive stories and games. Throughout this process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on a computer.