In 2012, we identified four key initiatives for the Upstate SC STEM Collaborative. Because of the tremendous relationships formed among industry, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations in the Upstate SC STEM Collaborative, we have been able to make a meaningful impact in our region. The four key initiatives of the Collaborative include:
- Bridge the opportunity gap by bringing STEM education and teacher resources to underserved areas across our region.
- Promote awareness and support for STEM education and STEM/STEAM career paths to the general Upstate community.
- Increase collaboration and general efficiency of STEM education programs throughout our region.
- Empower community engagement in educational outreach programs through volunteerism and act as a support network for STEM volunteers.
1. Mobile STEM Outreach Initiative
The Collaborative identified a growing opportunity gap in education based on geographic location. To help bridge this gap, our solution was to navigate and support the sustainable growth of a mobile STEM program. With the support of Clemson University and South Carolina 4-H, Science on the Move was created. This program brings education kits and training to underserved youth in rural and urban areas across the state. From robotics to energy programs, Science on the Move has helped expose students to a variety of workforce opportunities.
2. STEM In the Streets
The Upstate SC STEM Collaborative’s vision relies heavily on the accelerated promotion of STEM education in the region. We knew that we needed to do this in an innovative way to help promote STEM workforce development in schools and with students. To engage the community directly, a STEAM-cenetred festival was proposed. iMAGINE Upstate fueled by ScanSource is the result of this brainstorming. iMAGINE Upstate is an annual festival designed to showcase pre-K – 12 education and career pathways in Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, and Math through fun, hands on learning.
3. Creating a Map for our Future
We set out to increase collaboration and general efficiency of STEM education programs throughout South Carolina by creating an asset map of STEM programs. The result of this effort is the STEM Linx. This resource is currently in Beta and ready for the STEM community to populate.
4. STEM Volunteer Network
The Upstate is a special place because of our engaging and philanthropic community. Educational programs like Science on the Move, The STEAM Tech Teams, and iMAGINE Upstate would not be possible without skilled volunteers. We serve as a resource for organizations looking for volunteer support as well and a information hub for professionals looking to give back to the community through education and student mentorship.
Are you invested in helping us with a specific initiative? Contact Susie Teague via e-mail to learn more about our committees and planning meetings. This is a community driven program and we need your ideas and expertise!