Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital curriculum resources, content, and professional development for K – 12 classrooms nationwide, announced today the launch of the STEM Careers Coalition. With a focus on equity and access, the STEM Careers Coalition unites the business community with the shared goal of accelerating the growth of America’s STEM pipeline. The STEM Careers Coalition aims to prepare 10 million students for the future of work by 2025 by providing no-cost access to digital content and experiences that engage students in instruction, build foundational STEM knowledge, and develop the critical 21st Century skills students need for college and career success.
The anchor partner organizations who have provided initial seed funding and support to power the initiative’s launch include Chevron, The Manufacturing Institute, the American Petroleum Institute (API), Boeing, Microsoft, and Best Buy. These industry leaders depend on a strong pipeline of STEM-ready students to drive their businesses and the American economy forward, and thus are aligned on a shared mission to accelerate the elevation of STEM career pathways for students, parents and guardians in public, private, charter, and tribal schools nationwide.
Coalition member companies are catalyzing and engaging in regional approaches to workforce development by creating connected pathways for students through K-12, postsecondary education, and the STEM workforce. In addition to providing no-cost STEM experiences and career resources to schools nationwide, Coalition members will also underwrite Discovery Education STEM Connect in local communities identified by the partners. Inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering, STEM Connect is an interdisciplinary resource that enhances core curriculum and helps students build valuable problem-solving skills as they develop and apply solutions to important real-world challenges. Rooted in authoritative research, users become part of a global student laboratory to share data and collaborate with others around the world. District leaders and educators may now apply online to be considered for Coalition scholarships, with preference given to schools in under-resourced communities.
The initiative officially launched today with an event at the Carnegie Institution for Science, featuring a keynote address by former astronaut, science advocate and NFL player Leland Melvin and a panel discussion focusing on STEM solutions and workforce preparedness. In his remarks, Melvin shared his experiences as an athlete, astronaut, scientist, engineer, photographer, and musician to reinforce the necessity of closing the inspiration gap and supporting the next generation of students in pursuit Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) careers. Guests included leaders from education, industry and government who are invested in preparing the next generation of solution seekers and leveraging the power of technology to close the awareness gap.
“The STEM Careers Coalition will connect classrooms to careers at unprecedented scale, said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate Partnerships, Discovery Education. “We believe that through direct investment in schools with a focus on equity of access, engagement of Coalition member employees, and exposure to digitally immersive STEM career experiences, more students will have the opportunity to envision their future in STEM and emerge as the STEM leaders of the future to fill the ever-growing careers pipeline.”
The Coalition will provide no-cost resources to engage both educators and students in effective STEM instruction. “Through the generosity of the Coalition partners, students will have access to an array of STEM-focused resources, such as virtual field trips, digital instructional assets, career exploration videos, and more,” said Marla Wilson, Senior Director of the Coalition.
Over time, the efforts of the Coalition are expected to result in increased awareness as it relates to STEM and STEM careers. During its first five years, there will be a dedicated effort to study the execution and impact of the initiative’s efforts, anchored by a multi-year study conducted by McRel International will explore the implementation of STEM resources in classrooms supported by the Coalition.
For businesses and organizations interested in learning more about joining the STEM Careers Coalition and school districts interested in learning more about the scholarship process, please visit https://stemcareerscoalition.org/.