The National STEM Ecosystem movement began in 2015, and is based on a collective impact model. There are currently 89 national Ecosystems. These are supported by the STEM Funders Network (SFN), which provides conferences, programs, and technical assistance. One of the first national Ecosystems to be established, the Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem strives to Increase collaboration within, reduce duplication of, identify gaps in, and promote access to STEM education. The Philadelphia Ecosystem currently has a 9-member Steering Committee, five distinct Workgroups, and over 350 members representing schools and school districts, intermediaries and community-based organizations, museums and environmental centers, colleges and universities, government agencies, and businesses and corporations.
PEF, as the backbone organization, recently received a multi-year grant from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to support the Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem and the new Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective. Our Ecosystem will continue to focus on equity, access, and inclusion among the region’s underserved populations, which is aligned with GSK’s overarching goal of increasing the number of diverse Philadelphia students going into STEM careers. PEF’s grant includes a fulltime Ecosystem Coordinator, the resurrection and revitalization of the STEM Asset Map, and additional support for the Workgroups. As a collective impact initiative, additional details will be cooperatively identified, established, and shared in 2020.