San Francisco is one of 13 cities out of 52 applicants nationwide to be selected as a first round finalist for a competition that supports outstanding efforts to build science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring for underrepresented students.
Chelsea Stewart, 17, left, a San Francisco high school student and SEP intern, runs through
her poster presentation with SEP academic coordinator Kishore Hari.
US2020 is a new organization established by the combined efforts of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in the STEM field. The initiative emerged from a White House call to generate innovative solutions to STEM education challenges, with a focus on increasing access to STEM careers for girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children.
UCSF’s Science and Health Education Partnership (SEP) and Techbridge led the San Francisco US2020 effort. Both organizations have been recognized as longstanding national leaders in STEM mentoring programs.
Since its inception in 1987, SEP has supported hundreds of UCSF volunteers each year to work with San Francisco Unified School District teachers and students to improve science education in kindergarten through high schools.
Techbridge is a non-profit organization that encourages girls interested in STEM to participate in after-school programs, support networks, and a national partnership with Girl Scout councils.
Working with the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, and Salesforce.com Foundation, San Francisco US2020 will organize STEM volunteers from local corporations for out-of-school STEM activities. This effort will build on the Mayor Ed Lee’s Middle School Leadership Initiative, a novel public-private partnership aimed at dramatically improving STEM education.
“Through the City Competition, cities are tapping into their most powerful resources — their citizens,” said Eric Schwarz, executive chair of US2020 and co-founder and CEO of Citizen Schools. “With representation from such diverse coalitions, we know that we’ve begun to stimulate a movement and are well on our way to making 1 million high quality STEM mentoring matches by the year 2020."
First round finalists will move onto the second round of the selection process for a two-day “Ideas Camp” strategy session in Boston on December 4 and 5. Working with peers and STEM experts, finalists will refine their strategies to move their plans from concept to implementation.
The second round applications will be due in January and the awarded cities will be identified in February. The winning cities will share nearly $1 million in resources from US2020, based on their plans to significantly increase STEM mentoring for girls, low-income youth, and students of color.