Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative

Cultivating Chicago's STEM Learning Ecosystem
 
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The Chicago

STEM Pathways Cooperative

History

The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative began in 2011 as a community-based effort in which stakeholders from across Chicago’s youth development and funder communities wrestled with critical questions about access and equity in STEM out-of-school time (OST) programming. To help answer these critical questions a city-wide survey was launched in 2012 to understand the landscape of STEM OST opportunities for high school youth. The findings from the year‐long study were presented at the State of STEM in Out‐of‐School Time in Chicago Conference in December 2012 .

In 2013, the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative produced the State of STEM in Out-of-School Time in Chicago Report, providing a set of data-informed recommendations and an action plan to enable diverse young people to get, and stay, involved with STEM experiences from kindergarten through college.

In 2015, the Cooperative was selected to join theSTEM Funders’ Network STEM Learning Ecosystems initiative, an effort aimed at galvanizing cities across the U.S. that are building STEM learning ecosystems.

Mission

Convening stakeholders in Chicago’s STEM ecosystem to address inequities in the STEM learning continuum by facilitating cross-sector knowledge building, collaboration, and collective action.

The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative:

  • Is guided by the premise that access to a continuum of high-quality STEM experiences across all years of development can provide a strong foundation for success.
  • Understands that the STEM ecosystem reflects the combined stakeholders who impact STEM learning opportunities for students and families.
  • Recognizes that access to STEM learning opportunities in Chicago is unequal and therefore, we strive to advance policies and practices to close opportunity gaps and address inequities, at both the system and local level.
  • Convenes cross-sector stakeholders to move from a fragmented STEM landscape of efforts towards a coordinated approach.

The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative activates by:

Engaging in collaborative knowledge-building, rooted in research and implementation evaluation, that takes the form of thoughtful share out and discussion of best practices – allowing research to inform our collective practice and knowledge to flow across sectors and domains.
Collaborating via affinity groups, cross-sector partnerships, and regular convenings among stakeholders to build trust, drive common motivation, and develop shared language and common understanding of assets and opportunities within the ecosystem.
Collective action through common agenda setting that closes the opportunity gaps and, ultimately, strengthens the lives of citizens and communities.

Upcoming Events

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