Recent News

SXSW EDU 2018 selects STEM Learning Ecosystems to lead panel on Employability in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

(AUSTIN, Tex. – Oct. 18, 2017) – STEM Learning Ecosystems is proud to announce its selection as presenters at SXSW EDU 2018. The panel discussion, Not “Random Acts of STEM”: Planned Career Success, will be part of the Employability track. The discussion will feature Gerald Solomon, Co-Founder of STEM Learning Ecosystems; Gregory Washington, Dean of the Henry Samueli School [...]

Ecosystem Institute News & Updates- September 2017

Cohort 3 of the Ecosystem Institute gathered for another session with a focus on cross sector partnerships. OC STEM invited Cohort 2 graduates  back to participate on a facilitated panel to discuss their experiences with partnerships within their district, as well as outside of it. Participating on the panel: Chris Becerra, Administrative Director, Child Development Services Brea Olinda Unified [...]

Member Spotlight- CSUF College of Education

Dr. Kirtman is the Dean of the College of Education at CSU Fullerton and earned her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in Educational Policy and Organizational Research. Dr. Kirtman’s career started as an elementary and middle school teacher prior to joining Cal State Fullerton in 2000.   As a faculty member, she primarily taught math methods and research methods.  Before [...]

Ecosystem Institute – Summer Intensive

Cohort 3 completed their Summer Intensive on July 11 - 13! Topics over the 3 days focused on model ecosystems, early learning, and expanded learning. On the first day of the Intensive, teams were asked to reflect on what their ecosystem means to them, and build a physical representation of what their ecosystem looks like "today".  Each team's design principles will [...]

Ecosystem Institute- Cohort 2 Commencement

Cohort 2 Teams Complete 12-month Professional Development Institute On May 8, 2017 over 100 Ecosystem Institute members gathered to celebrate Cohort 2 teams finishing their 12-month professional development institute! Cohort 1 team members returned to help celebrate and welcome our incoming Cohort 3 teams. The night kicked off with a small reception where everyone had the opportunity to interact and learn about [...]

Ecosystem Institute- Welcome Cohort 3!

The following school districts are currently participating in Cohort 3 of the learning institute: Anaheim Union High School District Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Saddleback Valley Unified School District Tustin Unified School District Westminster School District The teams' first day was held on May 9, kicked off by a welcome from Gerald Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation. [...]

Girls Power Tech Day with CISCO

On Thursday, May 4 OC STEM partnered with CISCO to help launch this year's world-wide tech movement: Girls Power Tech Day! Every year, CISCO opens its doors to young women all over the world to inspire and encourage them to pursue a career in information and communication technology. OC STEM was happy to recruit about 30 young high school women [...]

Member Spotlight- Broadcom Foundation

Paula Golden, President, Broadcom Foundation Paula Golden is President of the Broadcom Foundation, which advances science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) worldwide. Paula initiates innovative programs at universities, non-profits and non-government organizations (NGOs) that create equitable access to STEM education, close the STEM education gap for young women and the underserved, and ensure that all young people are STEM literate [...]

OC STEM receives donation from U.S. Society on Dams

OC STEM recently received a very generous donation from the United States Society on Dams (USSD)! USSD is a world class organization of engineering professionals dedicated to advancing the environmentally sustainable science of planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of dams, levees and associated civil engineering projects. They work to resolve the world's most critical resource problem: access to clean [...]

2017 Orange County Early Childhood STEM Symposium

Early Childhood Professionals Come Together For Hands-On STEM Learning Over 400 Early Childhood educators, administrators, business leaders and more gathered together Saturday, March 18th for the 2017 Orange County Early Childhood STEM Symposium held at the Anaheim Marriott. This year's symposium provided 7 hours of professional development through various hands-on workshops, and a special keynote session featuring Astronaut Leland Melvin. The morning [...]

Ecosystem Institute: Field Trip to JPL!

OC STEM hosted another field trip day to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA for our Ecosystem Institute members on Friday, March 10th. The JPL Education Office team kindly led our Ecosystem members around the JPL campus to explore the different laboratories and building components of various projects. Members had the opportunity to get a glimpse into Mission Control, hear the background story [...]

Member Spotlight- Kay Family Foundation

Mark Percy, Vice President, Strategic Relations for KNET For the past decade Mark has served as a philanthropic advisor to individuals and families making significant investments to positively impact education, health care, and other areas of common purpose. Mark is the Vice President, Strategic Relations for KNET, a consortium enterprise that serves as the family office for the Kay family [...]

Healthcare Career Pathways Project- Update

The Health Career Pathways Project, funded through the California Endowment, is a project intended to build out articulated healthcare career pathways between education (K12, Community Colleges, Universities, etc.) and industry. OC STEM, with the help of two facilitators Mona Shah and Maya Dunne, recently met with members of the Hospital Association of Southern California (HASC) on January 25th, producing thoughtful [...]

OC STEM Ecosystem Institute News & Updates- February 2017

District teams gathered for another Institute session on Wednesday, February 8th, focusing on sustainable partnerships within their ecosystem team as well as outside of it with local businesses and more. OC STEM invited a panel of speakers to share their promising practices in cultivating sustainable partnerships. Facilitated by Cinda Muckenthaler from the Children and Families Commission of Orange County, the [...]

Member Spotlight- Children & Families Commission of Orange County

Kelly Pijl, Communications and Policy Director Kelly Pijl oversees strategic communications and legislative outreach for the Children and Families Commission. She also directs the Commission’s Early Learning goal area that includes school readiness, early literacy, and math programs. Kelly began working for the Commission at its inception in 2000. She was formerly the strategic affairs manager for the County [...]

Member Spotlight- Kay Family Foundation

Mark Percy, Vice President, Strategic Relations for KNET For the past decade Mark has served as a philanthropic advisor to individuals and families making significant investments to positively impact education, health care, and other areas of common purpose. Mark is the Vice President, Strategic Relations for KNET, a consortium enterprise that serves as the family office for the Kay [...]

OC STEM Ecosystem Institute News & Updates- January 2017

Creating a Culture of Inquiry Around STEM Education The first session of the new 2017 year took place on Thursday, January 12 at the Orange County Department of Education,  where teams reunited around the topic of Creating & Sustaining a Culture of Inquiry Around STEM Education Across Our Ecosystem. OC STEM welcomed [...]

Member Spotlight- Samueli Foundation

Gerald Solomon, Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation Mr. Solomon has served as the Executive Director of the Samueli Foundation since 2008, overseeing their philanthropic activities, focused on STEM Education, Youth, Integrative Health and Jewish Leadership. He led the design and development of the OC STEM Initiative, the nation’s first STEM Ecosystem, which has served as the model for the [...]

OC STEM Ecosystem Institute- Welcome Back Cohort 1!

On December 6 - 7, 2016 Cohort 1 of the Ecosystem Learning Institute returned for a special 2-day professional development training led by the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES). Titled "Innovation by Design", this session focused on the Design Process that TIES uses to help teams work collaboratively and share an understanding of the design principles used for [...]

OC STEM Ecosystem Institute News & Updates- November 2016

The most recent OC STEM Ecosystem Institute Session for Cohort 2 took place on November 17th, and featured special guest speaker Dr. Milton Chen, Ph.D. Dr. Chen is senior fellow and executive director, emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation, a non-profit operating foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area producing the award-winning website on innovative K-12 learning. Dr. [...]

2016-17 Lead STEM Practitioners

Through a partnership between the Orange County Department of Education and OC STEM, the Lead STEM Practitioner (LSP) Network has been developed to engage a strong cadre of teacher/leaders to become the conduits of information for their respective districts regarding new, innovative work happening in STEM education globally, nationally and locally.  This group of teacher leaders will have an [...]

OC STEM Ecosystem Institute News & Updates- October 2016

The OC STEM Ecosystem Institute teams gathered for another monthly session on October 25, 2016 for a workforce themed day featuring business site field trips, a higher education panel as well as a workforce panel. The morning kicked off with Ecosystem participants attending various business site visits. The following local businesses graciously hosted district team members and coaches:  Amway, [...]

2016 California STEM Symposium

Designing Our Future The 2016 California STEM Symposium brought together thousands of teachers, administrators, students, higher education representatives, program providers, philanthropic representatives and industry representatives to engage them in STEM education by providing strategies and resources for program implementation. OC STEM had the wonderful opportunity to present two sessions at the symposium on October 10, 2016 at the Anaheim [...]

Dimensions of Success Training with the PEAR Institute at Harvard University

OC STEM partnered with the Orange County Department of Education and the PEAR Institute at Harvard University to host a two day training on the Dimensions of Success (DoS) observation tool to over 23 Orange County instructional day, expanded learning and early learning teachers and educators. Participating school, school districts and expanded learning programs included: Anaheim Elementary Anaheim Family YMCA [...]

OC STEM Ecosystem Institute News & Updates

  OC STEM held another exciting Ecosystem Institute Session on September 21, 2016 at the Tiger Woods Learning Center, focused on Project Based Learning.  The morning started off with various discussions around the value of relationships within a STEM Ecosystem. CynDee Zandes, Ecosystem Consultant, spoke on the importance of an ecosystem and the legacy teams would be leaving behind. A [...]

STEM Ecosystems Leadership Institute

On July 13-14, members of OC STEM were invited to participate at the STEM Funders Network STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative Leadership Institute in Newport Beach. OC STEM and over 80 key leaders representing STEM Learning Ecosystems from across the country participated in the intensive leadership development institute. The STEM Learning Ecosystems Leadership Institute focused on Designing the Future of the [...]

Member Spotlight: Tiger Woods Foundation

Dr. Katherine Bihr is the Vice President or Programs and Education for the Tiger Woods Foundation. Her responsibilities include providing direction to the personnel, programs and operations of both the Tiger Woods Learning Centers and the Earl Woods Scholarship Program. Prior to joining the Tiger Woods Foundation, she was the Principal of Vista View Middle School in Fountain Valley, [...]

Ecosystem Institute 2016 Summer Intensive

The first day of the OC STEM Ecosystem Institute Summer Intensive took place on June 8, 2016 with guest presenters Marc Siciliano and Julie Stoltzer from the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES). They focused on Innovation by Design™ which uses the Design Process and Design Thinking to enable Ecosystem Teams to work collaboratively to create a shared understanding [...]

Member Spotlight: OCDE

Tom Turner has been involved in education for 19 years in education. During that time, his roles varied from classroom teacher to high school administrator to elementary school principal to the member of the Superintendent’s cabinet. Common threads in his work history are an innovative use of technology and progressive practices —no matter the position.  Tom currently serves as the Director [...]

Member Spotlight: OCTANe

Christina Alexopoulos Smith is the Director of Business Development at OCTANe. Prior to joining OCTANe in 2013, Christina worked in development at the Schmid College of Science and Technology at Chapman University where she focused on fundraising, outreach, and program marketing along with teaching as adjunct faculty in the voice department at the Hall-­‐Musco Conservatory of Music in the College [...]