The Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem fosters connections and deeper collaboration across networks and systems to ensure STEM programming is accessible to ALL students throughout Greater Austin. The learning-centered ecosystem leverages resources supporting STEM education while reducing duplication and amplifying individual organizations and their collective impact.
The STEM Funders Network (SFN) announced in November 2015 that The Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem as one of 27 communities selected to pilot the national STEM Ecosystems Initiative. This project, built on over a decade of research into successful STEM collaborations seeks to nurture and scale effective science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities for all young people. The Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem’s selection is a demonstration of the area’s existing progress in developing a strong STEM learning community and recognition of the commitment to continue this work. As of 2018, there are 68 STEM Learning Ecosystems globally.
The vision of the Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem is that:
- All learners (PK-16 and beyond) have the opportunity to obtain the requisite STEM skills to enter competitive 21st century STEM jobs in Central Texas.
- All educators, families, and community members are provided the tools and support to ensure that students of all ages are STEM competent and STEM literate.
The Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem will:
- Develop and engage an effective and sustainable network of academic, business, and community partners who are interested in providing STEM opportunities for PK-16 learners and advancing the STEM workforce throughout Central Texas.
- Support excellence and equity in formal and informal STEM education throughout Central Texas.
- Incorporate an equity-driven approach to promote awareness of, and access to, STEM pathways.
- Ensure long-term sustainability of the Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem.
Greater Austin STEM Networking Forums and Corporate Convenings
The Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem co-hosts quarterly Greater Austin STEM Networking Forums and Corporate Convenings to connect organizations, companies, and individuals across the community engaged in STEM education, outreach, and workforce development.
Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem Action Teams
Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem Action Teams lead and/or support programming, collaborative mapping, and/or strategy for the community. Action Teams are smaller collectives of Ecosystem stakeholders tasked with creating and advancing strategy for a particular interest area. Action Team work is aligned to Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem goals with opportuniites for community members to engage during quarterly Networking Forums. Current Action Teams include:
- Advancing Girls & Women in STEM
- STEM Professional Development Providers
- Increasing Blacks & Hispanics in STEM
- STEM in Out of School Time
- STEM State and Federal Policy Advancement
- 2024 Eclipse
- Ecosystem Communications
Greater Austin STEM Amplifications
The Greater Austin STEM Ecosystem amplifies STEM programs and events across the community around themed days, events or initiatives such as Computer Science Education Week and Engineers Week.