Cultivating Chicago's STEM Learning Ecosystem

The Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative, founded and led by Project Exploration, convenes stakeholders in Chicago's STEM ecosystem to address inequities in the STEM learning continuum by facilitating cross-sector knowledge building, collaboration, and collective action.

We, the Chicago STEM Pathways Cooperative:

Are guided by the premise that access to a continuum of high-quality, in-home, in-school and out-of-school STEM experiences across all years of development can provide a strong foundation for success in adulthood and support civic, college, and work readiness.

Understand that the STEM ecosystem reflects the combined digital, in-school, and out-of-school actions of all stakeholders who impact STEM learning opportunities for students and families, recognizing that STEM learning can happen any time, anywhere, at any pace.

Recognize that access to STEM learning opportunities in Chicago is unequal, both historically and today, and therefore, we strive to advance policies and practices to close opportunity gaps and address inequities, at both the system and local level.

Convene cross-sector stakeholders (families, community based organizations, public agencies, schools, funders, corporations and cultural institutions) to move from a fragmented STEM landscape of efforts towards a coordinated approach.

We Activate By:

Engaging in collaborative knowledge-building, rooted in research and implementation evaluation, that takes the form of thoughtful share out and discussion of best practices – allowing research to inform our collective practice and knowledge to flow across sectors and domains.

Collaborating via affinity groups, cross-sector partnerships, and regular meetings among stakeholders to build trust, drive common motivation, develop shared language and common understanding of assets and opportunities within the ecosystem.

Collective action through common agenda setting that closes the opportunity gaps and, ultimately, strengthens the lives of citizens and communities.