STEM Summit 2010
Early Childhood Through Higher Education
National Summit February 18-19, 2010
Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and
Engineering University of California, Irvine
The STEM Summit 2010: Early Childhood Through Higher Education hosted by the National Academy of Engineering with the sponsorship of University of California at Irvine, Samueli Foundation, Children and Families Commission of Orange County and the White House Writers Group sought to address the continuum of STEM education from early childhood through higher education, including the challenges faced by underserved populations, such as those with limited English proficiency and those from low-income families.
We recognize that the relationship between early learning and its impact on Pre-K through Higher Ed STEM education is relatively uncharted. Research has demonstrated
that the foundational learning one receives early in life is a core predictor of one’s capacity to absorb and excel in STEM education. Thus, there is a nexus between
early learning and the long term goal of improving the innovation capacity of the United States, our competitiveness in the global economy, and the quality of life
enjoyed by all our citizens.
Unfortunately, there are a number of indicators (e.g., NAEP, TIMSS, and PISA assessments) that the nation’s Pre-K through Higher Ed STEM education system is under performing.
A particular problem is the continuing gap in STEM interest and achievement between minority groups (principally African Americans and Hispanics) and the majority white
population. This problem is especially acute where poverty and lack of English fluency are barriers to school success. This issue will become even more acute if, as predicted,
the United States becomes a “majority minority” nation sometime near the middle of this century.
Our intention for the Summit was to serve as a convening with three over-arching goals:
- Create a dialogue about the current state of
Early Learning – Higher Ed STEM research, innovations, and trends.
- Encourage the further development and dissemination of effective Early
Learning – Higher Ed STEM initiatives and discuss programs that are strong
targets for investment.
- Engage those currently implementing effective STEM interventions and other stakeholders, including state and federal policymakers, industry leaders, foundation representatives, and other sponsors of STEM research and implementation in planning the next steps.
STEM Summit Conference Committee
Gerald Solomon, Chair
For hard copies of the Report, please contact the Samueli Foundation at