In 2009, President Obama launched “Educate to Innovate,” a nationwide effort to move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade. A growing number of jobs require STEM skills, and America needs a world-class STEM workforce to address the challenges of the 21st century.
In response to this national need, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has placed a priority on using national service to spur greater interest by K-12 students in the STEM professions (science, technology, engineering, and math).
In April, 2013 at the White House Science Fair, President Obama announced STEM AmeriCorps, a multi-year initiative to place hundreds of AmeriCorps members in nonprofits across the country to inspire young people to excel in STEM education.
STEM AmeriCorps advances the goals of the President’s Task Force on Expanding National Service to build public private partnerships that expand opportunities for Americans to serve and increase the impact citizens have on our communities and nation.
The goals of STEM AmeriCorps are to:
- Improve academic performance and engagement in STEM coursework for K-12 students
- Increase the number of students on track to graduate ready for college and for careers in STEM fields, including those populations who typically participate at lower rates
- Spark the imagination and interest of students to pursue STEM careers
By strengthening STEM education for students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, STEM AmeriCorps is sparking greater interest in math and science and building ladders of opportunity these students might otherwise never have.
STEM AmeriCorps is also helping our nation compete for the jobs and industries of the future by encouraging more students to go into STEM professions.
STEM AmeriCorps: Partnerships in Action
Whether through engaging STEM professionals as mentors, increasing the number of STEM teachers and teacher support services in the classroom, or creating a community of makers, STEM AmeriCorps is improving the level of STEM education in America. Here are examples of STEM AmeriCorps in action:
STEM Ecosystems: We are partnering with the STEM Funders Network and the Afterschool Alliance to place AmeriCorps VISTA members in communities across the country to support the STEM Ecosystems Initiative. Built on more than a decade of research of successful collaborations, the STEM Ecosystems Initiative seeks to nurture and scale effective STEM learning opportunities for all young people. AmeriCorps VISTA members will expand local partnerships, coordinate community-led STEM activities, create training curriculum, and recruit and manage volunteers, including STEM professionals as mentors.
New York Academy of Sciences: AmeriCorps and The New York Academy of Sciences are partnering to place AmeriCorps VISTA members in afterschool STEM mentoring programs focused low-income neighborhoods in New York City and surrounding areas. This AmeriCorps VISTA program supports and scales-up interventions with statistically significant positive outcomes. The AmeriCorps VISTA members will recruit, train and place scientists as instructors and mentors in high poverty school and community based organizations to increase interest in STEM-related fields.
STEM AmeriCorps VISTA Southern Initiative: AmeriCorps VISTAS in members in six southern states connect thousands of at-risk students in low-performing schools to STEM opportunities. The AmeriCorps members will serve with community groups, educational institutions, and corporate sponsors that are committed to sharing their expertise to inspire new discovery and increase the students’ chances for academic achievement.
US2020: US2020 is growing the national supply and demand for STEM mentors by partnering with Fortune 500 companies and best-in-class education partners. With the help of AmeriCorps VISTA members, US2020 matches skilled volunteers with these quality programs and creating evaluation systems to measure volunteer and student impact.
- Press Release: Expansion of STEM AmeriCorps Announced at White House Science Fair
- 2014 PRESS RELEASE: National Service Agency Announces Expansion of STEM AmeriCorps
- BLOGPOST: Why STEM Education Matters
- 2013 PRESS RELEASE: President Obama Announces STEM AmeriCorps to Inspire Young People's Interest in Science and Technology
CNCS is looking to generate large scale impact for STEM education through public-private partnerships to offer engaging educational programs for students nationwide. If you have questions or would like discuss potential partnerships, please contact: