HSMC Tri-County STEM Consortium, representing Hunterdon, Somerset, and Mercer counties in New Jersey was selected to Join Global STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice;
HSMC Tri-County STEM Wins Support to Build Connections Among Local Schools, Businesses, Other Partners
(Flemington, NJ -- April 4, 2019) The HSMC Tri-County STEM Consortium, representing Hunterdon, Somerset, and Mercer counties in New Jersey, has been selected to join the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice, SLECoP. In a highly competitive process, HSMC Tri-County STEM was named one of 15 new ecosystems selected to join the global movement devoted to dramatic improvement in how students learn.
STEM Learning Ecosystems build meaningful regional connections among educators, business and industry partners, afterschool and summer programs, to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges of the future. Each ecosystem connects to counterparts from across the country and world, enabling the exchange of best practices, information and resource-sharing. The 15 ecosystems joining the SLECoP today bring the number to 85 total, with most in the United States but also extending to Canada, Mexico, Israel and Kenya. New ecosystems to join the SLECoP range from the entire states of Iowa, Texas, South Carolina and West Virginia to regions like Biloxi, Mississippi; Broward County, Florida; Central Massachusetts; and Lincoln, Nebraska.
“This was an incredibly competitive process, and we were only able to admit ecosystems who would be capable of making immediate contributions to our thriving community of practice,” said Jan Morrison, President and Founding Partner of TIES, the organization that operates the SLECoP. “The ecosystems that we selected now have pulled together diverse partners who no longer accept the status quo in education; they want to see that all students access high quality STEM education that will prepare them for life and work in the next century.”
Forming STEM ecosystems was listed as the number one priority for STEM education in a December 2018 report by the Federal Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“Hunterdon, Somerset, and Mercer counties are making great strides to offer the recommended rich, meaningful STEM education and experiences to our youth,” said Kari McGann, Superintendent of Schools of the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District; a New Jersey Lead STEM Fellow for New Jersey; and Director of the HSMC Tri-County STEM Consortium. “As a recognized STEM Learning Ecosystem, we can tailor quality STEM learning opportunities to our specific needs in Flemington and throughout Hunterdon, Mercer, and Somerset counties while leveraging the experiences of similar alliances across the world. According to a 2018 report by the Committee on STEM Education by the National Science and Technology Council, to the President and others within the Executive Office of the President, both the committee and President Donald Trump believe that now more than ever the innovation capacity of the United States—and its prosperity and security—depends on an effective and inclusive STEM education ecosystem (The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2018).”
Members of the new HSMC Tri-County STEM include: the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board serving Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, New Jersey; Barnes & Noble; the Borough of Flemington Council; the Flemington-Raritan Education Foundation; the Flemington-Raritan Board of Education; the Hunterdon Central Regional High School Robotics Team; Hunterdon County Executive Superintendent Juan Torres; the New Jersey Commissioner of Education Dr. Lamont O. Repollet; the Hunterdon County YMCA; Somerset County Vocational and Technical Schools; superintendents from throughout Hunterdon, Mercer, and Somerset counties; the Watershed Institute; the Great Swamp; and the Somerset County Park Commission.
“It’s exciting to see that Central Jersey will be part of the expanding New Jersey STEM Pathways Network,” said Paul Grzella, Interim Director of the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board, which serves Hunterdon and Somerset counties. “The Workforce Development Board’s aim is to ensure that training efforts in the two counties lead to pathways that create sustainable careers, and STEM initiatives align with our mission,” Grzella said. “Statistics show that STEM jobs will grow in New Jersey over the next decades and all levels of our education and workforce delivery systems must be working together to help our future and current employees be ready to capitalize on this opportunity. Collaborative partnerships like this new initiative will help ensure that employers in Hunterdon and Somerset counties have the smart, innovative and nimble workforce they will need for their local, national and international success.”
Early plans for the HSMC Tri-County STEM are a celebration of the new ecosystem and a convening with all partners to be held in May. Visit the website at www.hsmcstem.org for more information and an invitation.
"We are thrilled and honored that the HSMC (Hunterdon County, Somerset County, and Mercer County) Tri-county STEM Ecosystem Consortium has been named a Cohort 5 STEM Ecosystem," said Ralph Losanno, Supervisor of Technology in the Flemington-Raritan Regional School District. "STEM is found in every facet of our lives. STEM education promotes critical thinking and trains the next generation of innovators to succeed in the global market. The leadership team and our community partners have established ambitious goals. These goals help to ensure that our students will be prepared to meet the countless challenges, that will undoubtedly turn into successes, that they will face in their journey through their education and beyond, into careers and/or college.”
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.
Learn more about the national initiative at stemecosystems.org. Address specific questions to email@example.com. Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook and LinkedIn.
SLECOP National Contact:
Ecosystem Regional Contact:
Dr. Kari McGann, Superintendent Flemington-Raritan Regional School District
New Jersey LEAD Stem Fellow
Shown in the picture above is Ron Ottinger and Gerald Solomon on the right and FRSD Superintendent Kari McGann and Ralph Losanno (FRSD Supervisor of Technology). Gerald is the Director of the Samueli Foundation and Ron is the Director of STEM Next foundation. Both are SLECOP funders for the stem learning ecosystems.