STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. High quality STEM education should include an integration of all of these subjects in hands-on, experiential projects and engage students in critical and creative thinking, problem solving, collaboration and communication skill building opportunities. STEM learning can take place inside the classroom, during Out-of-School time, within workplaces, and other places within the community.
Rigorous STEM learning, especially with a focus on mathematics and science, is key to helping youth excel in college and their career.
The economic impact of STEM is huge. Since 1990 STEM jobs have grown by 79% and will continue to grow over time (Pew Research Center, 2018). That is why we at the Arkansas STEM Coalition and our partners believe all youth should have an opportunity to experience high quality STEM learning and we are working hard to ensure this is a reality across the state.
What is the Arkansas STEM Coalition?
The Arkansas STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Coalition is the statewide hub of STEM information, created through a robust partnership of leaders from the corporate, education, government, and community sectors. Together we encourage, coordinate, and advocate for policies, strategies, and programs supporting excellence in STEM education and creating pathways to high-demand, highly-skilled, higher-paying jobs that expand the economy of Arkansas.
Arkansas STEM Coalition Programs
- Excellence in STEM Education Grants: Each year, The Arkansas STEM Coalition partners with the Arkansas Committed to Education Foundation to encourage Arkansas drivers to purchase an education-themed specialty license plate. Proceeds fund annual Excellence in STEM Education grants given to schools to purchase STEM equipment.
- Arkansas STEM Ecosystem: The Arkansas STEM Ecosystem includes businesses, educational institutions, government entities, community organizations, and individuals that are working together to promote STEM education and activities throughout Arkansas. We share information, learn from each other, and collaborate on projects to fill gaps in the state’s network of STEM resources.
- STEM Think Tank Meetings: Each year, The Arkansas STEM Coalition hosts STEM Think Tanks throughout the state with the theme of connecting schools, businesses, and communities. Each Think Tank feature presentations and panel discussions designed to connect participants and to further the larger purpose of preparing a well-equipped STEM workforce for high-demand, high-wage jobs across Arkansas.
- STEM Venture Academy: STEM Venture Academies brings cohorts of up to 25 9th and 10th grade students to visit five local businesses to participate in half-day sessions introducing them to mid-level STEM careers through direct, on-site learning. Each workplace partner has students learn from employees, tour their facility, and participate in a hands-on challenge.