Of the four parts of a series on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education that ran this week on Technically Philly, it was perhaps the fourth that grabbed our attention most.
Greater Philadelphia: Innovation in Education
Application deadline: December 16
Teach for America, in partnership with Technically Philly, will be hosting an invite-only series of education innovation workshops in 2012 intended to inspire the creation of actionable nonprofit and business ventures to impact education. TFA is looking for a cross-industry pool of applicants but is encouraging Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial technology community to get involved. Mention that you saw the workshops on Technically Philly in your application.
Despite mounting problems in the School District of Philadelphia related to STEM education, many are beyond its immediate control, and citizens are taking action to get involved.
Throughout conversations with dozens of people involved with STEM education in Philadelphia it was said repeatedly: This is the city’s and nation’s problem, not the District’s alone.
That makes it a local technology community problem.
What is missing is a pipeline to connect that community of bright, active individuals in Philly tech with students. Second, we believe, entrepreneurs could use their experience with innovation to attack the problem with business plans.
It’s with that in mind that we’ve partnered with Teach for America’s Greater Philadelphia: Innovation in Education workshop series. Focused on innovation in education, the invite-only workshops, which will take place in 2012, are intended to inspire the creation of actionable nonprofit and business ventures to impact education.
When TFA launched a similar workshop series in the San Francisco Bay Area, it resulted in the launch of new startups, including Junyo, a tool to help teachers measure student learning, and Skoodio: a student portfolio platform for the social media age. Perhaps most interestingly, of 25 participants in the workshop series, a third were experienced in technology and business with little education background.
When we connected with the organization, it was abundantly clear that the entrepreneurial spirit of Philadelphia’s technology community could help create organizations that could inspire actionable change in education.
The workshops will lead up to a pitch event in May where participants will demonstrate their ideas.
We encourage you to apply for the workshops here. Mention that you saw the opportunity on Technically Philly. Deadline for applications is December 16.
If you’re not interested specifically in the workshops, there’s plenty of ways to get involved with STEM education in Philadelphia. After the jump, we point to some of the organizations that have mentorship, volunteering and sponsorship opportunities.
- 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education – Aspires to be a regional leader in data-based analysis, program planning, innovative curricula and professional development for STEM education. [Coverage]
- America21 Project – Fosters solutions-based approaches to 21st century community economic development. [Coverage]
- Atomic Robotics – Robotics club with mission of convening regional assets. [Coverage]
- Breadboard – Breadboard is developing innovative partnerships with neighboring organizations that will introduce Philadelphia youth to new creative technologies. [Coverage]
- Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center – Works with high schools and colleges around STEM talent development. [Coverage]
- Girl Geek Dinner – Potluck-style networking events for women in tech. [Coverage]
- Girl Develop It — Web design and development classes for women. [Coverage]
- Hacktory – The Hacktory’s goal is to empower people and give them a sense that technology can be a tool for personal expression. [Coverage]
- Math + Science Coalition – The Philadelphia Education Fund’s Math + Science Coalition is looking for volunteers to share their knowledge and love of math and science with students in the School District of Philadelphia. [Coverage]
- NextFab Studio – NextFab Studio is a membership-based, high-tech workshop and prototyping center. They provide resources and training for local high school robotics teams and more. [Coverage]
- Nonprofit Technology Resources – NTR distributes donated, refurbished computers to low-income people (especially children and families) through their community groups, churches, and schools. [Coverage]
- Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers – Puts industry workers in front of students during school career days and at robotics competitions. [Coverage]
- Philly Robotics Expo – At Philly Tech Week 2012, schools from the Philadelphia area will demonstrate how young people can get involved in robotics. [Coverage]
- School District of Philadelphia Robotics – Students are engaged in STEM challenges, competitions, tournaments, symposiums and institutes throughout the year. [Coverage]
- TechGirlz – Helping adolescent girls understand that a future in technology does not necessarily equate to ‘a boring computer job.’ [Coverage]
- Upward Bound Math Science – Penn’s college preparatory program that provides hands-on experience with science and math for high school students.
- Web Start Women — Devoted to bringing more women into the web design and development fields. [Coverage]
- What It Takes – E-mentoring for young black men. [Press Release]
If you have an organization that you want to list here, email the organization title, a web URL and a brief description of the organization to info [at] technicallyphilly.com.
READ THE ENTIRE ‘STATE OF STEM’ SERIES
Part 1 of this series: STEM graduation rates show uphill battle with math and science in School District
Part 2 of this series: Lack of citywide STEM education vision leaves Philly’s skilled workforce in jeopardy
Part 3 of this series: State and District math and science policies leave gaps in competitive STEM curriculum
Part 4 of this series: Citizens work alongside the school system to strengthen District STEM