East Bay STEM Network

Vision

Founded as the Gateways East Bay STEM Network, the Institute for STEM Education's regional network serves as a leadership hub (backbone organization) for regional stakeholder working together to improve educational outcomes in STEM across Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.  The Network benefits students and educators through the development of a cohesive system of supports that increases students’ access to high quality STEM learning opportunities from cradle to career. The system of support shares a common framework to make drive  collective impact.
Why STEM?​

STEM education is more than just science, technology, engineering or mathematics; it is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with real-world, problem-based learning. This bridging among the four discrete disciplines is now known as STEM. STEM education removes the traditional barriers erected between the four disciplines by integrating them into one cohesive teaching and learning paradigm. Today, new innovations and inventions tend to be made at the boundaries of these four disciplines, where they naturally overlap.

A STEM-literate student is not only an innovator and critical thinker, but is able to make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues. A STEM-literate high school graduate can enroll in a college-level course of study in science, technology, engineering, and math without the need for remediation. STEM skills are increasingly necessary to engage in a knowledge-based economy. There is solid evidence to suggest that the fastest-growing and highest-wage jobs in future years will be in STEM fields and all employees will need to utilize STEM skills for problem solving in a wide range of industries.
Goals​​

The East Bay STEM Network and the statewide organization that we are affiliated with, the California STEM Network are working to address California’s workforce needs and better prepare our state’s students to contribute to a vibrant California economy by:

• Increasing interest and competencies among all PreK-16 California students in STEM disciplines, with an emphasis on critical thinking, hands-on learning, problem-based approaches and the use of information technologies.

• Ensuring all California students are college and career-ready and increasing the number of students who are pursuing STEM-related degrees and careers.

• Building a network that connects employers, educators, policymakers, funders and businesses, leverages California’s STEM assets and develops new capacity to innovate, scale and sustain effective STEM teaching and learning through collaboration and resource-sharing.

Action Groups

Partners in our regional STEM networks are working together to develop common understandings of the existing challenges associated with students’ success in STEM as students move across the education continuum (cradle to career). Four action groups consisting of committed partners are developing and beginning to implement detailed plans for addressing four challenges (or initial priorities):
Early Learning and STEM

Early Learning and STEM serves as a catalyst for high quality, early STEM learning programs in grades P-3 by addressing the mathematics achievement gap that emerges by the third grade, while fostering STEM literacies.
STEM in OST Time

STEM in out of school time (OST) serves to address the limited time devoted to science during the regular school day and students’ needs for STEM learning opportunities. Participants are working to increase the time spent by students in STEM rich environments by taking advantage of before and after school programs, the summer, and other contexts in which students spend 80% of their time.
STEM Professional
Learning Communities

California is just beginning to implement new academic standards in English Language Arts, mathematics and science that support STEM. The changes in teaching/learning envisioned will require classroom teachers to enhance their existing knowledge, will require new teachers to be prepared differently, and will require new teaching resources. The STEM professional learning communities (PLC) action group seeks to address this by developing strategies that conceptualize, develop and implement new professional learning opportunities for teachers (pre-service and in-service) across the region.
College and Career Pathways​​

Too few young people, especially African-American, Latino, female and socioeconomically disadvantaged students, graduate from high school to pursue and persist at post-secondary education with the intent to obtain STEM certificates, degrees or credentials. A high percentage of those who do pursue STEM college/career pathways after high school require remedial instruction in English and or mathematics, and struggle to adapt to the new academic and career environments.  We aim to conceptualize, develop and implement a system of supports for interesting, engaging and preparing students from diverse backgrounds to pursue and thrive in STEM college and career pathways.

Model Lessons

The below three lessons were the result of a project funded by Bayer Healthcare as a collaboaration between Community Resources for Science and the Integrated Middle School Science Project.  The lessons are intended as models lessons for use in middle school, after-school science programs.
Eletrolysis of Water

This lesson will help your students develop representations showing how atoms regroup during chemical reactions to account for the conservation of mass, as well as construct explanations of energy being released or absorbed when simpler molecules are combined into complex molecules or complex molecules are broken down to simpler  molecules.

Elements Sparkling Around You

Crosscutting Concepts:

#1 – Patterns: Patterns guide organization and classification, and they prompt
questions about relationships and the factors that influence them

#2 - Cause and effect: events have causes, and with an understanding the mechanisms
of those relationships, students can predict and explain events in new contexts

#3 - Energy and matter: Tracking fluxes of energy within systems helps understand the
systems’ possibilities and limitations


Penny Boat Challenge

Your students will learn: that the way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions, as well as critical elements of study such as the conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system for natural and built systems alike.