e are an action-oriented, transformative, public-private regional network, covering the Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas, that convenes, manages, and supports a cross-sector network of partners from business, school districts, education agencies, higher education institutions, Career and Technical Education (CTE) practitioners and providers, government, military, community, Tribes, library systems, nonprofits, out-of-school providers, and workforce development agencies. West Sound STEM Network is a Washington STEM Regional Network and a Regional Career Connect Washington Network.
Goals & Objectives
We are collectively committed to building PreK-career pathways to postsecondary credentials to family-wage jobs, especially for those furthest from educational and institutional justice. We simultaneously focus on current and planned activities that demonstrate ongoing impact and catalyze institutional-level change for our region.
Equity Drives Everything We Do
The current reality is that not all students have the same opportunity. Access to transportation, technology, social capital, spaces to convene, paid work experience, and credential programs with labor-market value are all prime examples of the barriers our students face, and ones that we must work to systematically address.
We are committed to ensuring that ALL students are supported with the relationships, connections and resources they need to thrive in the future career they choose for themselves. Specifically, this means access to a multitude of developmental paths that lead to high-demand, family-wage careers in our communities.
A Commitment to Data
We cannot change what we cannot measure!
West Sound STEM Network utilizes a number of comprehensive data sources to inform our own work as well as share with our partners. These include WA STEM “CORI”, STEM by the Numbers, numerous Washington State Workforce Development Councils and the OSPI School Report Card.
Our Theory of Change
Why a Network?
While teachers are the number one driver of student academic performance, teachers cannot do it alone. We must leverage all the assets of a community to support the effectiveness of teachers and the success of students. The STEM business community is a key partner is improving STEM education for our students.
Previous efforts to improve student learning outcomes in STEM have fallen short for many reasons, including a lack of agreed upon goals, the inability to overcome barriers, or because certain groups were not at the table. Bringing key stakeholders together into a STEM Network represents an opportunity to mitigate such risks and reach a tipping point for system change.
What do STEM Networks do?
These community-based partnerships engage schools, nonprofits, businesses, and others, forging innovation and improvements in STEM teaching and learning at a systems level. The West Sound STEM Network also coordinates hands-on learning opportunities such as the STEM Showcase and a speaker series (STEM Café) that furthers STEM learning at the individual level for multiple audiences, including educators, students, parents and community members.