Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Editorials / Opinion


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published March 20, 2011 at 4:00 PM | Page modified March 21, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Strategic private-sector investments in STEM education

Washington STEM has spent the last year raising money and its first round of grants — $2.4 million to 15 educators, schools and K-12-focused nonprofits — demonstrate a compelling strategy of encouraging innovation and sustaining proven efforts.

THE catalyst behind improving Washington's science and math achievement comes from the business sector, a welcome answer to limited state resources for new education investments.

Washington STEM has spent the last year raising money and its first round of grants — $2.4 million to 15 educators, schools and K-12-focused nonprofits — demonstrate a compelling strategy of encouraging innovation and sustaining proven efforts.

A Clark County middle school gets to try out science curriculum developed at MIT. If it works, other middle schools can benefit. The same thinking went into a grant award for a small mentoring program at Neah Bay.

A grant to the Technology Access Foundation's academies in the Federal Way School District is a smart way to help programs with proven track records continue to build capacity in tight budget times. Encouragement and critical funding helps the Bellevue School District's plan to develop STEM curricula that can be used across the state.

The private-sector effort is a much-needed boost for fledgling and often isolated attempts by school districts and communities. The organization plans to raise $100 million in the next decade. STEM efforts in Washington can use every dime.

We're fourth in the country in technology-based companies — Microsoft, Amazon and Isilon Systems, to name a few — but 46th in participation in science and engineering education programs.

Nearly a quarter of future jobs requiring college will be connected to fields in computer science, engineering and life sciences.

Multipronged approaches rightly go beyond merely adding classes to highlighting the need for teachers who can use STEM subjects in ways that unlock imaginations and bring abstract science and math lessons to life.

President Obama has pledged $100 million for math and science teacher training and recruitment programs. The private side of this partnership is off to a robust start in Washington state.

More information about STEM can be found at www.washingtonstem.org

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

Advertising