West Sound STEM Network
West Sound STEM Network
As with other STEM Networks in Washington, the goal is to enhance student understanding and application of science, technology, engineering and math principles to inspire innovation and advancement for local business and industry.
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.
How the West Sound STEM Network works
The West Sound Network works cooperatively to implement STEM learning and strengthen STEM innovations by:
- Facilitating communication between stakeholders
- Providing opportunity for partnership, and the framework through which common priorities are defined and initiatives are consolidated
- Leveraging efforts to access more resources for students, teachers and STEM-related programs in the community
Programs + Impact
West Sound STEM Network implemented a comprehensive, collaborative, and broad dive into STEM teacher professional development by partnering with higher education, industry members, Tribes, military, and non-profits to deliver 58 STEM training workshops for teachers, with 39 of them as virtual in response to COVID guidelines. As a result, teachers expanded their STEM knowledge and leadership skills which directly increased access and opportunities for new skills for students.
West Sound STEM Network received a third year of computer science grant funding from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The opportunities provided by the OSPI Computer Science grant will continue to have high impact in our region. The grants support districts, schools, and nonprofits to train teachers and integrate computational skills into classrooms. West Sound STEM will continue to connect teachers directly with industry leaders who use computational thinking on a daily basis. In addition, the grants expand computer science access to groups of students who have historically been underrepresented in computer science programs and careers.
CAREER CONNECT WASHINGTON: BUILDING PATHWAYS TO SUCCESS
West Sound STEM Network is one of the nine regional Career Connect Washington Networks and received $125,000 in funding from Career Connect Washington. Regional Networks are the key to scaling career connected learning statewide and as a Regional Network, West Sound STEM Network convenes and manages regional, cross-industry partnerships that will lead to expansion of opportunities for Washington youth.
During the time of the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to innovate using the cutting edge tools to create meaningful, memorable experiences for our communities. For example, with support from Career Connect Washington, West Sound STEM Network, in partnership with Tacoma STEAM Network and OSPI, codeveloped and launched virtual Controls Technology Educator externships. The unique opportunity immersed over 100 teachers from across the region in the basic concepts of Control Systems Technology by using models such as games, industry tools, and simulations as analogs for how sensors trigger complex decisions and actions.
CREATING A POSTSECONDARY ATTAINMENT CULTURE: CATALYZING FINANCIAL AID COMPLETION
The immediate need for equitable access to earning a postsecondary credential, especially for populations furthest from opportunity, is highly dependent upon FAFSA/WASFA completion. Yet, students from poverty, students of color, and students from remote and rural areas have significantly lower FAFSA completion rates. This is a glaring example of inequity and multiple West Sound STEM Network partners are engaged in closing this gap. West Sound STEM Network, in partnership with Washington STEM, regional partners and state agencies, deployed a comprehensive and systemic analysis of FAFSA completion barriers and comprehensive supports—by partnering with leaders of historically marginalized populations and with the other nine STEM Networks. Together, they will convened a wide range of education, community, government, and other leaders to co-develop a model for change. The time is now—students cannot wait any longer.
Washington State Legislature affirms commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in K-12 schools.