As a 100Kin10 partner, we are committed to working towards tackling the challenge put forward by President Obama to train, recruit, and retain 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers in ten years. 100Kin10 is uniting the nation’s top academic institutions, nonprofits, foundations, companies, and government agencies to meet the challenge.
To this end, we are working with 100Kin10 to kick off a new fellowship that helps their partners work together to solve the challenge of increasing the reach and quality of engineering in K-12 schools across the nation. The BIF Student Experience Lab will work with 100Kin10 to develop a new model which will allow partners to work together to solve the challenges of bringing STEM education into the classroom. In order to do this, we are co-creating a fellowship experience that will be built up to support a select group of partners. We have developed a customized curriculum which will change the way education leaders approach the challenges of bringing a quality STEM education to students. In the next couple of months we will work with the fellows by guiding them through the curriculum and into designing and prototyping solutions.
The Student Experience Lab’s human-centered approach to our design process will support collaboration amongst 100Kin10 and their partners to get at the underlying issues of the challenge. Using human-centered design helps bring focus to forming and understanding challenges, idea generation, and implementation through the lens of those at the center of the engineering learning experience -- teachers and their students. Using human centered design, we will work with 100Kin10 fellows by guiding them through a 4 month long experience which will include a design studio, a blended curriculum on an online community, several rounds of personalized coaching from BIF experience designers, and lastly an in house community critique for fellows to share their work and gather feedback.
Despite the importance of STEM careers in our society, science, technology, and engineering are undervalued in our schools. Many college graduates have low incentives for pursuing STEM education careers. A lack of high-quality training, low pay, poor professional development, and inadequate support dissuade many graduates from becoming teachers. Existing STEM teachers have low access to quality resources and curriculums, and seldom do they have flexibility to experiment. How can we shift this narrative to support STEM education? 100Kin10 has taken the initiative to create a network of organizations with unique perspectives to explore these issues. They have brought together these organizations as committed partners from many different fields to use a collaborative approach to problem solving. Throughout the process we will work-out-loud to share any useful insight/learnings we uncover along the way. Committed to storytelling, we will document our work through video, photographs, and blog writings.
By extending the human-centered design curriculum we’ve developed for Teachers Design for Education (TD4Ed), we will facilitate a blended, collaborative experience for 100Kin10 partners to engage with the challenge by defining the problem, and to quickly prototype solutions. We’ll gather feedback and insights the fellowship partners to iterate on the design and make improvements.
Despite working in the same field, educators often have little opportunities to work with people outside of their schools. Although we all share the same goal, to bring a quality education to all children, there is often little collaboration between administrators and educators, let alone external organizations and government agencies and the schools they are working to change. 100Kin10 has united over 200 committed organizations to tackle the many challenges of training, recruiting, and retaining STEM teachers. Some of these challenges are too large and complex for any one organization to solve on their own. The fellowship seeks to help organizations engage with each other by connecting their capabilities and strengths with other partners to collaboratively explore solutions. We are facilitating collaboration between organizations who traditionally would not have ever worked together, let alone share resources and capabilities.
Not only will we be contributing to the training and retention of 100,000 STEM educators in ten years, we are also experimenting with new models of how organizations can work collaboratively, and how grantmakers and foundations can allocate awards based on real world testable prototypes rather than theoretical proposals. Through the fellowship we will help partners rapidly prototype and test their designs to make sure the concepts they develop are solving real problems for real people! Although this project is particular to the field of education, this innovative approach to collective experimentation and problem solving has the potential to become a new model across social sectors.
For more information check the links above, and frequent our blog for all the latest news on our partnership with 100Kin10 and the new fellowship!