The Oregon STEM Investment Council has put forward a plan to expand student opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) Education. The plan was created over the last year and a half in a joint process facilitated by the STEM Investment Council and the Chief Education Office. Working together, they engaged educators, businesses, community-based members, and diverse stakeholders across the state to outline four key goals to support student’s STEAM learning. Within the plan, Out-of-School Time is identified as a necessary ingredient for successful STEAM learning.
The STEM Education Plan is intended to help students develop workforce skills, and to create opportunities for collaboration between education, community, and industry partners to support student learning and economic development. Lindsey Capps, the Chief Education Officer, said, “The plan articulates a broad, long-term vision intended to guide policy, practices and priority-setting across education, workforce, and economic development.”
The four key goals outlined in the plan are intended to guide state, regional and local actions that help students build STEAM related skills, connected to career opportunities. They are:
- Inspire and empower students to develop the knowledge, skills, and mindsets necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing, technologically rich, global society.
- Ensure equitable opportunities and access for every student to become part of an inclusive innovation economy.
- Continuously improve the effectiveness, support, and the number of STEAM educators in K-12 and postsecondary education.
- Create sustainable and supportive conditions to achieve STEAM outcomes aligned to Oregon’s economic, education, and community goals.
Jim Piro, the chair of the STEM Investment Council, an advisory body to the Chief Education Office, and a key developer of the plan described the plan as, “a detailed roadmap, with key achievable goals and outcomes, that will bridge the gap between the skills and capabilities our students have and the skills and capabilities our businesses need, which is critical in supporting both a strong economy and vibrant communities in our state.”
This plan is an exciting opportunity for STEAM education in Oregon, and particularly for STEM opportunities in out-of-school time! To read the full text of the plan, click here.