The STEM Learning Ecosystem: Leadership for Articulated STEM Programs Institute (Institute) is a professional learning institute designed to strengthen Orange County school district leadership through the development of STEM Learning Ecosystems and implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs over an intensive 12-month time period. The Institute was developed by OC STEM in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education, WestED, the California STEM Learning Network and the California After School Network, with planning contributors from Children and Families Commission of Orange County, Discovery Cube Orange County, Science@OC, THINK Together, Tiger Woods Learning Center, and University of California Irvine, School of Education.
- Prepare Orange County school districts for the implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards for K-12 students. This will include the integration of the California Common Core State Standards, development of their STEM Learning Ecosystems (role of extended learning programs and informal science centers, strategies for PreK inclusion, understanding of the curriculum framework), and inclusion of STEM in their district strategic planning and LCAP (Local Control and Accountability Plan).
- Improve professional STEM teaching practice of educators and school leaders representing 10 school districts in Orange County.
- Support school district leadership teams in the development of work plans for implementation of the California Next Generation Science Standards.
- Increase education and awareness around the implementation process to help educate parents and the broader community.