Siemens Expands STEM Middle-Skill Initiative

The Siemens Foundation has added two new partners to its STEM Middle-Skill Initiative, which aims to support the development of middle school students' skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The two new partners are:

  • The Center to Advance CTE, an affiliate organization of Advance CTE, a national non-profit organization representing state directors and leaders of secondary, postsecondary and adult career and technical education (CTE) across the United States; and
  • The Center on Education and Skills at New America (CESNA), an organization working to expand the array of high quality educational options for students of all ages.

The Center to Advance CTE will work with four participating states to attract students to high quality career and technical education (CTE) programs. According to Kimberly Green, executive director of Advance CTE, many people hold outdated stereotypes that may "prevent more students from benefiting from these programs."

Advance CTE will work with state and local leaders to identify effective messaging "that resonates with students and parents" and will support states "as they identify, implement and evaluate strategies for student recruitment into high-quality programs that lead to college and career success," stated a news release. The Siemens Foundation will announce the four participating states in early 2017.

Countries such as Germany and Switzerland have long-established practices of apprenticeships for high school students. The Center on Education and Skills at New America will study high school apprenticeship programs abroad to identify best practices that could be adapted for the United States. "Understanding the barriers — both real and perceived — to growing youth apprenticeship in the U.S. is an essential first step for building an evidence-based strategy that can effectively overcome those barriers," said Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education and Skills, in a prepared statement. The center expects to complete its research in 2017.

The Siemens Foundation established its STEM Middle-Skill Initiative in October 2015. The initiative's first two partners were the Siemens Technical Scholars program and the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence with the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].