Local companies and organizations invited to join

The international STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice (SLECoP) has selected the Greater Milwaukee STEM Ecosystem (GM-STEM) to join the global movement of leaders devoted to ensuring that STEM education is a priority for all in their communities with an emphasis on the equity envisioned to support a world-class STEM education.  

The GM-STEM application was led by Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition, Northwestern Mutual and STEM Forward on behalf of the seven county Greater Milwaukee region. These organizations will be working to launch GM-STEM with the purpose of creating a unified effort across the region to enable STEM partners to share, build knowledge and connect to ensure efforts in K-20 STEM pipeline development are effective and reflect the community as a whole.  

Local companies, non-profits and community organizations are invited to join the ecosystem. Those who wish to be involved and updated on GM-STEM’s efforts can complete the landscape analysis survey to provide their contact information and thoughts on the state of STEM in the greater Milwaukee region. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WC2ZCJV  

STEM Learning Ecosystems are a national level initiative encompassing nearly 90 communities. Through collaboration and communication, these ecosystems are designed to empower local communities to create positive outcomes for students, educators and business leaders. The SLECoP offers the architecture and support for the ecosystems to connect to one another, learn and share best practices to build meaningful connections among community partners to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges of the future.  

MSOE is leading the regional ecosystem efforts and has committed to providing physical space through its We Energies STEM Center and staff support to manage the ecosystem at large. Northwestern Mutual has funded the launch of the ecosystem which includes a comprehensive landscape analysis to help with strategic planning for the greater Milwaukee community.  

“While MSOE has taken the first step with Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee Tech Hub and STEM Forward to get the greater Milwaukee region into the ecosystems, the greatest success will come from schools, community organizations, companies and the community at large joining in to make this work possible,” said Elizabeth Taylor, MSOE director of STEM. “As an ecosystem, GM-STEM has the capacity to drive change for a thriving community. We will be reaching out to corporate, philanthropic, non-profit and other community stakeholders in STEM in early 2021 to begin moving this effort forward on a regional basis.”  

“Northwestern Mutual is committed to scaling local STEM education capacity via our K12 outreach program—hi, Tech—which exposes 9,000 Milwaukee-area students and teachers to what’s possible with tech annually. We’re thrilled to support this regional movement to more intentionally collaborate with fellow STEM stakeholders to drive impact,” said Stig Haagensen, technology chief operations officer at Northwestern Mutual.  

“Our member companies are committed to working together to increase the number of students in the greater Milwaukee region who are inspired to pursue, and prepared to succeed, in STEM careers,” said Laura Schmidt, chief talent development officer for the Milwaukee Tech Hub Coalition. “We are excited to work alongside other changemakers with a demonstrated commitment to local tech talent development.”  

“STEM Forward is excited to support GM-STEM and its work to increase STEM education and the talent pipeline SE Wisconsin,” said Rich Merkel, executive director of STEM Forward.  

GM-STEM is one of only six ecosystems (out of 20 applicants) selected to join the SLECoP, along with DO STEM of Dayton, Ohio; NJ-NEST of Bergen County, NJ; MiSTEM Network serving the entire state of Michigan; Silicon Valley STEM Ecosystem in Silicon Valley, CA; and Utah STEM Ecosystem, serving the Salt Lake City region. With the addition of GM-STEM, the SLECoP now includes ecosystems in 40 states in the United States as well as Kenya, Israel, Mexico and Canada.  

“This process focused on the selection of new STEM Ecosystems most capable of fully participating in our thriving community of practice,” said Jan Morrison, founding partner of TIES, the organization that manages the SLECoP. “The ecosystems selected represent diverse cross-sector collaborations working to change the status quo in education. They are true champions for equitable access to high quality STEM education opportunities that will prepare all students for the future.”  

About the STEM Learning Ecosystems of Community Practice  

The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice (SLECoP) is a global initiative of innovators who know that thriving communities are built through collaboration and a willingness to reimagine education and provide opportunities to those commonly neglected. The SLECoP was built on the fundamental belief that learning happens everywhere, not just in traditional classrooms. Consequently, ecosystems are made up of partners representing K-12 public and private education, business and industry, after-school providers, non-profits, STEM-rich institutions, government, and philanthropy.  

Throughout its seven-year history, the SLECoP has been supported by numerous funders and partners, including Amgen Foundation, Broadcom Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Cleveland Foundation, DigitalC, Fowler Family Foundation, Huntington Bank, Nord Family Foundation, Motorola Foundation, Nordson Corporation Foundation, Overdeck Family Foundation, Qualcomm Foundation, Samueli Foundation, STEM Funders Network, Steinman Foundation, STEM Next Opportunity Fund, The STEM Funders Network, TGR Foundation, The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, The Steinman Foundation, and numerous local and regional foundations supporting local and regional STEM Ecosystems.  

Other support has been offered by partners including ASM Materials Education Foundation, Cureo, Girls Who Code, LEGO Education, Magic Leap, National Inventors Hall of Fame, Nepris, Pitsco Education, Smart Gurlz, Symbiotic Aquaponic LLC, Tallo, The Henry Ford, UBTECH, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Vernier, Woz U, and others.   Learn more about the global initiative at stemecosystems.org. Address specific questions to info@stemecosystems.org. Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Ask an Expert

Director of STEM

Elizabeth Taylor

Department: STEM