Chicago has a wealth of STEM learning opportunities for youth, in classrooms and through out-of-school time experiences. However, challenges to access and equity continue to persist for young people – particularly those from communities traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. How can we work collaboratively to provide all Chicago youth with quality STEM experiences to support their academic, civic, and career development? The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative is a community-driven initiative that works to address inequities in the STEM learning continuum. Our strength-based approach focuses on three critical areas: cross-sector knowledge building, collaboration, and collective action.
Affinity Groups are member-driven groups that bring together stakeholders around key areas of STEM learning. Affinity Groups are guided by three principles: 1.) Identifying best practices, in Chicago, nationally, or both; 2.) Understanding the pressing challenges in the field as they relate to inequity for Chicago youth; and 3.) Determining how collaborative work can address the equity challenges.