SEDRO-WOOLLEY –The Skagit STEM Network, formed late last year through the efforts of the Sedro-Woolley School District and City of Sedro-Woolley, has been involved in an intensive planning process to ally K-12 education, higher education, community, and business partners to support STEM learning and opportunity in the Skagit Valley. To support these efforts, the Skagit STEM Network will receive a $200,000 grant over the next two years from Washington STEM to support efforts to advance student access to science, technology, and math education and career opportunities.
“The Skagit STEM Network can be a game changer for our students, our economy and our region,” said Phil Brockman, Superintendent-Sedro-Woolley School District. “STEM education opens doors for every Skagit student to succeed.”
“Washington STEM is excited to work with the wonderful partners of the Skagit STEM Network,” said Washington STEM’s Network Director, Lee Lambert. “We have been enthusiastic supporters of their planning process and their vision for STEM education in the community.”
The initial $30,000 grant awarded last year, started a unique partnership between the Sedro-Woolley School District, City of Sedro-Woolley, Port of Skagit, EDASC, Skagit Valley College and Janicki Industries. During the past year, other partners joined the planning process including: Boy Scouts of America, Mount Baker Council; Children’s Museum of Skagit County; Community Action of Skagit County; Girl Scouts of Western Washington; Junior Achievement of Washington; Skagit County Child and Family Consortium; PACCAR; PeaceHealth/United General Hospital; and Skagit County.
“Our goal was to create strong working relationships between schools, community organizations, government agencies and our business community to enable the development of STEM literacy and with it, the ability for our students to compete in the new economy,” said Sedro-Woolley Mayor Keith Wagoner. “And that’s what we did.”
In addition to building partnerships between schools, government, businesses and community organizations, the initial planning effort created a video in conjunction with Sedro-Woolley High School film students (www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkaBA8avRP8), a Skagit STEM website, calendar of STEM events throughout Skagit County, speaker’s bureau, and planning materials.
This two-year grant marks the formal launch of the Skagit STEM Network as the newest of ten regional networks that partner with Washington STEM. The Network will serve as a clearinghouse for STEM supportive activities to plug into and more effectively leverage efforts. The STEM Network will focus long term on preparing future generations for economic success and create greater connections between Skagit Valley students and local industry.
Washington STEM is a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Launched in March 2011 with support from the business, education, and philanthropic communities, our goal is to reimagine and revitalize STEM education across Washington. For more information, go to www.washingtonstem.org.
For a complete list and descriptions of the STEM Networks visit www.washingtonstem.org/Our-Approach/STEM-Networks.