STEM Pathways is an extension of The Tech Academies program working with cross-sector partners to collectively develop impactful career exploration resources and experiences that will give youth from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM fields the opportunity to connect with mentors, build social capital, envision themselves in and pursue STEM careers.
The STEM Pathways Committee is made up of nearly 50 members from diverse community sectors including industry, higher education, K-12 formal and informal education and STEM-rich organizations who are passionate about closing the opportunity gap in Silicon Valley. We began this work in 2018 with a goal of ensuring all students in local communities most impacted by systemic inequities have continuous access to high quality STEM learning to prepare them for local STEM careers.
In 2021, we shifted our work toward community listening with youth, parents/caregivers and other community members from local communities least represented in STEM fields to inform the design of a STEM career pathways center scheduled to open in 2028.
Steering committee members meet five to six times each year and commits to supporting inclusive R&D experiments to help to:
- Answer collective questions
- Make career pathway program recommendations
- Inform partners and the field of key findings
- Co-develop and disseminate practical career exploration resources
Advisory level members commit to attend three meetings to provide input and advice on experiment designs, draft resources and strategic documents. They may also support the work by leveraging key connections to the work.
These individuals donate their time and energy to making our community a place that fosters home-grown talent and diversifies the face of innovation in Silicon Valley.
A key tool that the STEM Pathways Steering Committee has co-created and updates each year is 8 Elements of STEM Preparation, which summarizes key skills and experiences that are critical to industry and informed by Next Generation Science Standards, California Computer Science Standards, California Math Framework and Linked Learning’s Work-Based Learning Continuum.