Leveraging a Multi-Partner Approach to Develop Successful STEM Outreach Programs
Careers in the U.S. that require STEM knowledge have grown rapidly, reinforcing the need to develop a future workforce that is prepared to meet growing business needs and solve global challenges. Considering that there is a low number of students pursuing STEM degrees and the low percentages of minority students in the STEM pipeline, STEM education has been a focus of local and national education curriculum reform efforts. Extending beyond the classroom, university, industry, and other stakeholders have partnered to develop the future workforce by focusing on STEM K-12 outreach programming. We discuss a unique partnership that moves beyond the traditional context of university based outreach programming in which the National Society of Black Engineers (a non-profit organization) is working toward scaling up a nationwide summer outreach program through partnering with major research institutions and industry sponsors. We introduce the partners, provide an overview of the research and assessment plan, and discuss preliminary lessons from the partnership.