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    Foot soldiers for STEM: Alliance seeks mentors to visit elementary schools

Foot soldiers for STEM: Alliance seeks mentors to visit elementary schools

TULSA – Business leaders and employees from about two dozen Tulsa-area companies on Friday discussed how they could make math and science exciting to a seventh-grader.

The group met at the Tulsa Community College Center for Creativity downtown as part of an effort by the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance to brainstorm how to get Tulsans to mentor elementary school children.

“We are trying to mobilize business leaders, along with educators and the community, about the need for a workforce based on science, technology, engineering and math and develop that force starting at a young age,” said Annie Tomecek, supervisor of global community relations at T.D. Williamson.

Xan Black, a program coordinator for the Tulsa Alliance for Engineering at the TCC Northeast campus, was convinced that companies would promote the notion of their employees going into the classroom.

“Our businesses are ready to become STEM mentors in our schools,” Black said. “Just a little facilitating, figuring out what classes to visit, what the schedule would look like – I think we are ready to go.”

The drive of the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance is to motivate elementary and middle school students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. The emerging alliance of educators, employers and policymakers discussed how to recruit volunteers to visit classrooms across Tulsa for up to 20 hours per year.

The newly formed alliance has already received national recognition, being named a finalist in the US2020 City Competition. Tulsa is one of 13 finalists out of 52 applicants selected to pursue funding and other resources to build centers for innovation, support and mentoring in STEM fields. Tulsa’s application for the second round of the competition is due Feb. 14.

Putting employees in the classroom benefits everyone, Black said.

“This new generation of workers wants to have an impact beyond their job or their […]

January 31st, 2014|News|0 Comments

Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance Update for January

Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance Update
Dear Colleagues – It is difficult to believe that it has been a little more than a month since the launch of the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA) last December.  We wanted to update you on the many incredible things that are happening in the Tulsa region because of TRSA!

US2020 City Competition Grant

STEM Mentor Meeting – We were pleased to convene a gathering of Tulsa region mentorship providers to learn from them about the incredible mentorship programs that are up and running in the Tulsa area.  The gathering included representatives from the Oklahoma Afterschool Network, Camp Fire Girls, Girl Scouts, Partners in Education, Tulsa City County Library, STARBASE, FIRST Robotics and others.  We were also fortunate to have Dr. Dodd and Lisa Witcher with Union Public Schools in attendance.  The consensus of the meeting was that there is large capacity to train and equip STEM professional for mentorship.
School Administration Survey – We were able to get good feedback from Tulsa area school districts regarding the STEM mentoring that are currently ongoing in the school setting.  The school districts are very open to scaling up STEM mentorship and are going to be vital partners in this initiative.
STEM Mentorship Business Roundtable – The US2020 City Competition Grant team working in collaboration with the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and specifically with Kuma Browne, Partners in Education director, held a convening of more than Tulsa region business partners to learn more about their will and capacity to actively partner in this ambitious STEM mentorship initiative.  The business community generously and warmly embraces the dream of scaling up STEM mentorship in the Tulsa region and stands ready to play their pivotal role of training and inspiring the next generation of STEM professionals.
US2020 City Competition Teleconference – The US2020 City Competition […]