July 22, 2015 – A powerful new resource for Colorado educators, students, and STEM supporters — the Colorado STEMworks database — will make it easier than ever to partner with successful STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs to ensure Colorado students have access to the education and experiences needed to succeed in Colorado’s increasingly innovation-based economy.
Seven programs are the first to be accepted into the new Colorado STEMworks database, which was launched in January through a partnership among The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), Colorado Technology Association (CTA), and Change the Equation (CTEq) to identify and promote effective STEM education programs. The programs also will become part of CTEq’s national database.
Colorado is one of only three states — the others are Arizona and Iowa — partnering with CTEq to tap their nationally recognized STEMworks protocols to evaluate and support quality STEM programs for elementary, middle, and high school students.
“Through this partnership, we are able to help Colorado STEM partners identify and invest in programs that really do deliver for young people in the state,” said Linda Rosen, CEO of CTEq. ”We are delighted that the visionaries driving this effort have set such a high bar for excellence, and that Colorado companies are joining with other leaders in the state to rally around strategies that are most likely to have an impact.”
The database allows educators and funders to understand the components of effective STEM programs.
“Not only will this resource help to ensure a greater return on investment in terms of student outcomes for every dollar invested in these effective programs, we now have identified effectiveness in STEM education,” said CEI’s STEM Director Angela Baber. “Our next step is to learn from programs across the state the ways in which CEI can support them to reach even higher levels of success for more of Colorado’s students.”
Seven programs recognized
The seven new programs recognized as Colorado STEMworks database programs are: Career and Technical Pathways in STEM, Keep it Clean – Neighborhood Environmental Trios, KidsTek, Moving GIS (geographical information systems) into the Classroom, RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers), St. Vrain Valley Schools STEM and Innovation Center, and Urban Advantage Metro Denver.
“RAFT is a growing organization and being admitted to the database is a stamp of quality and credibility,” said RAFT Executive Director Stephanie Welsh. “We’re honored to be recognized as an accomplished provider of quality STEM programming and excited for the opportunities that increase our funding and visibility to help us better serve more educators and students.”
These programs join ten others already recognized at the national level as STEMworks programs, including: Colorado FIRST, Engineering is Elementary, FOSS K-8 Program, National Math and Science Initiative’s College Readiness Program: Colorado Legacy Schools, PowerTeaching Math, Project Lead the Way, SEPUP, SSEC Science Reform Model (LASER), ST Math, and Ten80.
$100,000 grant announced to support Colorado STEMworks applicants
The Colorado Education Initiative, the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Orica, and United Launch Alliance are committing $100,000 in funds to support programs that applied to the Colorado STEMworks database in this initial round. To ensure all programs have support to effectively reach more students in meaningful ways, 60 percent of funds will be awarded to programs accepted into the database and the remaining 40 percent will be used to provide supports and resources to applicant programs not yet accepted.
“Launching the database will showcase quality pK-12 STEM programs that are not only findable, but also fundable. Programs we need to develop the tech talent pipeline of the future,” said CTA Foundation Director Alex West. “By supporting business and education partnerships through schools, communities, and states we can make a real difference for Colorado kids and the Colorado workforce pipeline.”
The database is a milestone in the implementation of Colorado’s STEM Education Roadmap, the state’s plan to improve STEM education and outcomes for all Colorado learners. CEI is the lead organization facilitating the implementation of the STEM Roadmap and CTA is a key partner in this work.