Learning for All has been instrumental in the policy writing and partnerships that led to the Virginia State STEM Commission and the eventual development of the State STEM Advisory Board. It took a large community of stakeholders and their support to create and implement a Board that tied six State Agencies and an additional ten citizen members together to help align Virginia’s STEM efforts.
The Science Museum of Virginia, Virginia State Libraries, and Virginia Park Service created a nature backpack program to engage more families in learning together. Backpacks were available at over 212 libraries across the Commonwealth. This informal learning experience includes free admission to Virginia State Parks and use of the various materials, guides, and hands-on activities.
Learning for All staff has created, led, and supported multiple event days, from the Richmond, Virginia MakerFest to STEM Days at the Virginia Air & Space Science Center. These events are designed to engage the entire family, helping everyone learn more about the topic and supporting the enthusiasm of the family members. It is an opportunity to bring in various local partners and businesses, highlighting what is happening within your own backyard.
STEM Ecosystems, nationally, have been around since 2015. STEM Ecosystems aim to create a sustainable model to bring together schools, businesses, and the community to support the development of STEM programming. Virginia started their first STEM Ecosystems since the Pandemic. Chuck English has been part of developing these systems as they have grown to help education and workforce development. There are currently three existing or developing STEM Ecosystems in Virginia. If you would like more information or contacts, reach out to our CEO, Chuck English.
Post-Secondary education can take many forms, but not all opportunities are perceived as equal. Learning for All staff has led the Tennessee Appalachian Center for Higher Education, helping high school youth explore post-secondary options. These efforts included looking at various accreditation programs, trade schools, community colleges, universities, and apprenticeship models. The idea was to help youth identify multiple pathways to continue their education and elevate their opportunities as they looked to enter the workforce. Many of these youth needed to look at options that did not burden them with an additional four years of education and debt right out of high school. It was also essential to help connect to their neighborhoods’ workforce opportunities so their education remained relevant and impactful.