Hello from the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative,

We’ve been hard at work making sense of the data we’ve gathered from more than 100 organizations providing STEM programming in out of school time across the city. Thank you for being part of this effort!

We’ve also been checking in with individuals, STEM and education funders and stakeholders, and networks (like the Museums in the Parks, Chicago Wilderness and HIVE) and learning about how people are trying to work together, the issues organizations face when it comes to collecting and sharing data, and the great desires people have to do better supporting young people to get – and stay – involved with high-quality science, technology, engineering and math experiences.

The data are confirming what you probably already know:  there are HUNDREDS of opportunities being offered to young people across the city. But we’re also seeing gaps in program availability in terms where and when programs are offered, diversity of program content available, and the ages of students being targeted for program services. As soon as the numbers get a little cleaner we’ll send out some of the initial findings for you to take a look at.

As we work on drafting a summary of the findings, we’re curious about the questions YOU have about the STEM and out of school time landscape:

What are you curious about when it comes to Chicago’s STEM and out of school time opportunities?  What do you wish you knew more about or understood better?

Please feel free to email me back directly, or post your questions or comments on the Ideas Page. We’ll keep all the input we get in mind as we draft a summary of the findings and as we plan a fall convening when we can share the findings in their entirety with you and other stakeholders involved in STEM programming.

Thank you for your enthusiasm and work in this critical arena,

Gabrielle Lyon on behalf of the STEM Cooperative Leadership team