Expanding STEM Learning Across the Big Sky
A daylong summit next month will bring together representatives from education, business, after-school providers, government and the larger community to discuss how Montana can build a strong science, technology, engineering and math ecosystem across Big Sky country.
The STEM Summit takes place Aug. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Strand Union Building Ballrooms on the campus of Montana State University. Participants will explore ways to expand STEM experiences outside the classroom and create a collaborative framework for more high-quality STEM learning for Montana youth. The College of Education, Health and Human Development and the Montana Afterschool Alliance are co-hosting the event.
The day consists of panel discussions with action tables, networking sessions, a hands-on demonstration with STARBASE Montana and key speakers, including conversations with MSU President Waded Cruzado, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen and Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney. An optional one-hour TechBridge Role Models Matter workshop will be offered immediately following the close of the summit.
Jan Lombardi, a founding member of the Montana Afterschool Alliance, which was organized in 2014 with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, said there are children in Montana who don’t have the opportunity or support to experience high-quality after-school or summer learning. Today’s youth need to be critical thinkers, and by building knowledge and skills outside of school, children are more college and career ready.
Alison Harmon, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development, said that the summit will be a critical gathering of individuals whose input is needed to identify state priorities and chart a course for expanding STEM education.
The summit is made possible by a planning grant from STEM Next, a national initiative housed at the University of San Diego designed to prepare more young people for careers in STEM fields, as well as numerous local and state sponsors.
Participants must pre-register. There is no cost to attend. To register, go to stemmontana.org/Home/Summit.