Colorado’s governor recently signed a new law that gives students in the Centennial State the option of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) diploma endorsement. The legislation, crafted by two educators in the Colorado Educator Voice Fellowship (through America Achieves) is one of several STEM-related policies that successfully passed through the Colorado General Assembly this year.
Colorado Succeeds highlighted how these innovations help position the state as a leader in STEM and workforce development. “These new policies will unlock opportunities for Colorado students—providing access to relevant, rigorous, and engaging learning experiences that will prepare them for what comes after high school—regardless of what pathway they choose,” Scott Laband, executive director at Colorado Succeeds said.
In addition to the work happening in Colorado, the League of Education Voters recently sat down with Caroline King, the CEO of Washington STEM, a statewide nonprofit advancing excellence, equity, and innovation in STEM education. A national leader in the STEM movement, Washington is second in the nation in the concentration of STEM jobs, illustrating the growing need and opportunity to power student success within the state.
In the interview, Caroline discusses how STEM and Career Connected Learning opportunities can be applied in the classroom—for all students—and the impact that this can have not only on kids, but teachers and the community as well. With state employers anticipating 740,000 job openings in Washington the next five years alone, many in STEM fields, Caroline states, “We believe that Washington kids should have the first shot at those jobs … it’s about opening their eyes earlier as to what those exciting opportunities may be.” On May 31, Washington STEM will be participating in Governor Inslee’s Summit on Career Connected Learning, which is designed to inspire stakeholders, build a network of champions, and highlight promising practices and programs within this movement.
To learn more about STEM policy or connect with advocates in Colorado and Washington, please reach out.