The DC STEM Network is one of eight groups to win the US2020’s 2018 STEM Coalition Challenge. The Challenge was a nationwide competition for communities to increase hands-on STEM mentoring and maker-centered learning to underrepresented students. The winners were announced at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA, last week. The DC STEM Network will receive a share of a $1 million award which will support further innovative, STEM-based learning for Washington, DC students.

The Network was selected from 92 applications from 35 states, representing more than 1,800 nonprofits, companies, school districts, and local government partners. The Network is a collaboration between the Carnegie Science’s education arm, the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE), and the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE). The Network’s mission is to unite community partners in a sustainable collective effort to design, guide, and advocate for transformative STEM learning opportunities for all DC students.

Washington, DC is a hub for STEM jobs — behind only Silicon Valley in the number of STEM-related employment opportunities. The core of the Network’s mission is preparing DC students to fill those jobs.  In addition to managing the annual DC STEM Fair, the DC STEM Network guides students through hands-on STEM and maker programs as well as summer STEM internships.

Winners were selected based on factors including their potential for impact; approach to partnership building; creative engagement strategies; and sustainability planning. All eight winners will share the $1 million prize for financial support, consulting, and staff funding for two years.

“The DC STEM Network represents the very best of organizations dedicated to bringing STEM to students who might otherwise not have access and insight into how STEM can positively shape their futures,” said Esra Ozer, President of Arconic Foundation, a sponsor of the STEM Coalition Challenge. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact winning the STEM Coalition Challenge will have on the DC STEM Network over the next several years.”

Marlena Jones, Director of the DC STEM Network remarked, “The DC STEM Network is thrilled to join this cohort of outstanding STEM partners to increase access to making and mentoring in the District of Columbia.”

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