Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awards KC STEM Alliance $1.1 million to further expand key STEM education programs and help build STEM-ready Workforce
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Chamber of Commerce recently reported that by 2030, Missouri will face a shortage of 200,000 qualified workers. This report reiterates other findings that point to deficits within the science-, technology-, engineering-, and math-based (STEM) talent pipelines.
With renewed support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in the form of a new three-year, $1.1 million grant, KC STEM Alliance, established in 2011 by the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Computing and Engineering, will continue to expand two of its nationally renowned STEM education programs—Project Lead The Way and FIRST Robotics. The grant will also help KC STEM Alliance nurture the region’s STEM Learning Ecosystem, a collaboration among schools, youth programs, museums, science centers, corporations and STEM-related nonprofits to improve access, equity and quality of STEM programming across the region.
“To build a truly STEM-ready workforce, it’s important for our young people to see how STEM is integrated into everything we do and to have experiences both in school and out that will encourage persistence and help them build confidence in their STEM skills,” said executive director Martha McCabe.
KC STEM Alliance collaborates with other STEM-focused organizations to strengthen the region’s STEM learning ecosystem. Kansas City was among the first metros in the nation officially designated as a STEM Learning Ecosystem by the STEM Funders Network. Today, the cross-sector leadership team has developed work groups to address key barriers such as youth transportation, parent engagement and is developing ways for the community to quickly find and share STEM opportunities.
“We are all in this together,” McCabe said. “Our role is to champion STEM across the community and we do that by sharing best practices and looking for creative ways various organizations can work together.”
KC STEM Alliance is a collaborative network of educators, business partners and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust workforce of related professionals for our community.