MI STEM Partnership Announces Partnership with Newton’s Road of NW Michigan

Newton's Road Logo-TMThe Michigan STEM Partnership is happy to announce a partnership with Newton’s Road of Northwest Michigan. Partnership activities will focus on the sharing of best practices, developmental initiative designs, resources and STEM events and opportunities. Both organizations expect that this collaboration will provide transferable benefits to both organizations and the communities they serve.

Newton’s Road has a rich legacy of community involvement and works with regional partners to leverage resources to increase student access to outstanding learning opportunities in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM Education).  For more information on Newton’s Road go to http://www.networksnorthwest.org/main-site.

Additional information on this partnership will be available soon.

Advertisements

Detroit-area Middle School Students Can Access Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab at UM

More than 3,000 middle school students a year will be introduced to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), thanks to a collaboration between Qualcomm Incorporated and the University of Michigan College of Engineering.

These organizations are bringing the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™, a hands-on engineering and career awareness program, into the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ), known for its makerspace and high school robotics program.

story-thinkabit-content-2

Fourth graders from the Coleman A. Yound Elementary School learn to program Arduino kits to spin motors in order to design and build their “moving Diorama”. Photo:  Evan Dougherty

“The Thinkabit Lab provides us an opportunity to expose younger students to the world of technology, beginning to crystalize in their own minds what role they may play as technologists, scientists, and engineers,” said Julian Pate, director of the MEZ. “The Thinkabit Lab provides several pathways for that kind of thinking. Our perspective is really simple: exposure is success.”

story-thinkabit-content-5

A view of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab.  Photo: Evan Dougherty

 

Youth from more than 60 Detroit public middle schools will have access to the one-day workshops at Thinkabit Lab. For many of these students, the experience will mark their first exposure to STEM careers and engineering. The organizers anticipate an even broader reach to students of all ages in the long term.

“Qualcomm is proud to collaborate with such a strong engineering institution as the University of Michigan and its innovative Michigan Engineering Zone,” said Susie Armstrong, senior vice president of Engineering, Qualcomm Incorporated. “Together, we are bringing our unique Thinkabit Lab program to students and teachers in the Detroit area. We’re excited to expose these students to STEM and other careers and hope to inspire them to become the next generation of inventors.”

Students will engage in Thinkabit Lab’s signature Qualcomm® World of Work (QWOW™) career exploration activities to discover their own unique talents and learn about concepts and careers in STEM fields, such as the Internet of Things, 5G, creative robotics, and invention. They will also engage in unique hands-on engineering experiences, learning basic programming and strengthening their problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking skills by designing and building their own robotic inventions.

“I didn’t know that you could use a computer to make things move,” said Tamia Washington, an eighth-grader at Spain Elementary-Middle School, as she used her laptop to control a circuit that could blink or turn a fan.

Bringing the Thinkabit Lab to the MEZ is part of Qualcomm’s efforts to bring its STEM initiative to diverse communities and regions nationwide, helping to close the STEM skills gap. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2015 there were more than 500,000 open computing jobs in the U.S. That same year, only about 60,000 students graduated from U.S. institutions with bachelor’s degrees in computer and information services. This shortage in qualified tech workers is predicted to increase.

This skills gap showcases the need for STEM-related curricula in schools and an overall prioritization of technology education in the U.S. The collaboration with Michigan Engineering aims to inspire students to become inventors and not just consumers; as well as grow an inclusive, diverse workforce to support business growth and help strengthen the region’s economy.

“We are very focused on first providing the Thinkabit Lab experience to Detroit students. We know that STEM education is gaining interest everywhere, but we also lack ongoing opportunities for STEM in Detroit. So, we think it’s a natural partnership between us and Detroit Public Schools Community District as one option on a menu of opportunities that they can offer to their students,” said Haley Hart, a Thinkabit Lab Coordinator who teaches the workshops.

Organizers are also interested in exposing more girls to STEM fields.

“Coding, robotics and engineering is not the future. It’s the now. So that’s what we need to teach,” said Lakia Wilson, a guidance counselor at Spain Elementary-Middle School. “Engineering is a totally new experience for our students. All of our students need the exposure, the opportunity and the access because if not, then they won’t fully understand what they may have the ability to do in life. We don’t want any of our students to be in that pocket. They are our future.”

Professor Alec D. Gallimore, the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at U-M, agrees. “We are very pleased to be bringing the Thinkabit Lab to Detroit. Forging a partnership between Qualcomm and our Michigan Engineering Zone will benefit our community and touch thousands of young minds every year,” said Gallimore, who is also the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and a professor both of aerospace engineering and of applied physics. “With this unique collaboration, we are opening up more opportunities for students in southeast Michigan to gain exposure to STEM disciplines. We hope these experiences will spark a passion for creativity and problem-solving and will ensure an even brighter future for our community.”

BY THE NUMBERS:
  • 3K Detroit area middle school students per year will have access to this Qualcomm Thinkabit lab
  • 60K students graduated from U.S. institutions in 2015 with computer and information degrees
  • 500K open computing jobs in the U.S. in 2015

About MEZ

Located in the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center, the Michigan Engineering Zone (MEZ) is a safe and supportive innovation space where Detroit students acquire the knowledge and tools they need to propel themselves to higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through challenging and exciting hands-on experiences. Last year, the MEZ received a 250K Google Grant.

The FIRST Robotics teams of Detroit high schools stand center stage at the MEZ. The College of Engineering provides the needed space, equipment, training, and mentoring to assist students in the design, build, and test of their robots for competition. Outfitted with computer labs complete with CAD software, a machine shop, robot testing area, and collaborative workstations, Detroit’s professional engineers and University of Michigan faculty, staff, students, and alumni provide technical training and mentoring within this environment of learning, leadership, teamwork, and fun!

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 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.