STEM Coalition Diversity Innovation Working Group
How do we build a more prosperous future for New Mexico that is driven by the tremendous potential of an innovation and high tech economy? How can we ensure that all of our students have the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and training to participate in the workforce of the future?
These were the central questions for the Diversity Innovation Working Group (DIWG) that convened in Albuquerque in August 2017. NM EPSCoR, together with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the LANL Foundation, supported a group of diverse stakeholders from business, education, government, and non-profit sectors to investigate the feasibility of a NM STEM Coalition.
There was broad consensus about the importance of STEM education for the future prosperity of New Mexico, and about the goals of a STEM Coalition that would
- Sustain and advance STEM education by supporting all students pK-16 in achieving STEM literacy
- Build a local STEM-ready talent pipeline
- Encourage policy and conditions to build a STEM economy in NM
Participants made recommendations about potential organizational structures, including a leadership team made up of representatives from different sectors, a backbone organization to coordinate the effort, and a dedicated staff person. They also crafted a set of prioritized actions for the STEM Coalition:
- Craft a Statewide STEM Roadmap with shared goals, strategies, and a defined set of metrics.
- Conduct Research on the New Mexico STEM Ecosystem to map existing resources and document current and future workforce needs and gaps.
- Communicate the importance of STEM education.
In the months since the convening, a team has met to advance the recommendations, commissioned a report to identify key policy areas and opportunities for action, and planned for a re-convening in May 2018. For more information, contact Selena Connealy, NM EPSCoR Education and Outreach Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.