Northwest Washington STEM Network
Northwest Washington STEM Network
STEM education opens doors for every Skagit, Whatcom, Island, and San Juan county student to succeed. And it allows all of our students to dream big. It’s an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.
STEM by the Numbers
Washington STEM’s annual STEM by the Numbers reports let us know if the system is supporting more students, especially students of color, students living in poverty and/or rural backgrounds, and young women, to be on track to attain high-demand credentials.
Programs + Impact
Thanks to the interest and support of educators, business leaders and community organizations throughout Northwest Washington, the Skagit STEM Network is expanding. The new NW Washington STEM Network will work to be a catalyst for STEM education and Career Connected Learning in Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties and be housed within the Northwest Educational Service District 189.
RURAL HIGH NEED GRANT FROM CAREER CONNECT WA
The North Puget Sound Regional Career Connect Washington Network proposal is a collaboration between Snohomish STEM Network, NW Washington STEM Network, and the NWESD189 Career Connected Learning (CCL) Coordinator. The grant of $50,000, funds two programs serving rural communities across our five-county region:
- Rural Career Connections: Develop and implement an operational model to be replicated for rural districts that seamlessly joins community and the school district to career connected learning. In partnership with the CCL Coordinator at Northwest ESD189, initial work with the Darrington, Concrete and Blaine school districts is underway.
- Virtual Career Connected Learning: The grant will allow us to research and adopt a set of best practices for providing virtual CCL in rural communities that are lacking resources to implement CCL within their own school districts.
INCREASING FINANCIAL AID COMPLETION RATES IN NORTHWEST WASHINGTON
Regional data shows us that Financial aid is one component to successfully completing a post-secondary credential. In 2020 we have joined a statewide effort to improve Financial Aid Application Completion (FAFSA, WASFA & College Bound Scholarship) in Northwest WA. This includes partnering with Washington STEM and the Washington Student Achievement Council to develop a data dashboard, tracking student cohorts from 8th grade through post-secondary completion; identifying and creating a best practices playbook; and funding partner orgs to deliver programs targeting family engagement in communities furthest from opportunity.
In 2020, the Foundation for Academic Endeavors Parent Academy held sessions in English and Spanish led by Skagit Valley College, College Success Foundation, and Burlington-Edison School District experts. Topics included “How to Support Your Student to Attend College,” “Skagit Valley College, You Belong Here,” and a “College Bound Scholarship Workshop.”
The Northwest Washington STEM Network is also increasing the scope of work for the FuturesNW From One to Many Program, which helps Lummi Nation students and parents/guardians throughout the school year navigate the high school to post-secondary transition. We have been able to increase outreach and family support at Lummi Nation School and Ferndale High School and host outreach events through partnerships with Northwest Indian College, the Johnson O’Malley Program, and the Lummi Indian Business Council.
SKAGIT REGION EARLY CHILDHOOD CONSORTIA
The Skagit Early Childhood Consortia received an Early Math Catalyst Grant from Washington STEM to deliver Early Math programs in Skagit County and support delivery of programs through their partners in Island, San Juan, and Whatcom Counties. The goal of this work is to improve kindergarten readiness in math for children who are furthest from opportunity, including children living in poverty, children of color, and children living in rural areas. We are hosting train session for key partners and early learning stakeholders in the following programs: Paint to Learn, Math Anywhere, and Vroom. To date, Paint to Learn has had 28 trainings and shared with more than 160 early childhood professionals, childcare providers, and parents.