Today Apple STEM Network announced the North Central Educational Service District will take the lead as the backbone agency for our region’s collective impact work to support expansion and growth of STEM education and opportunity.
Since its inception two years ago, the Apple STEM Network has supported 21 regional events and program and coordinated efforts with partners across the state, local legislators, and other non-profits to engage youth in STEM educational opportunities, draw support for educators, and connect industry partners to a homegrown workforce.
In the coming year, the Apple STEM Network will scale locally successful concepts, secure additional resources, and serve additional school districts in order to expand STEM education throughout our region. The North Central Educational Service District is well suited to achieve these goals as NCESD has a longstanding relationship with 29 school districts in north central Washington. This larger geographic footprint will facilitate regional growth and support for educators outside of the presently served communities of Wenatchee, East Wenatchee and Cashmere.
“NCESD is very excited to host the Apple STEM network at a deeper level. Because of the strong leadership inside the Apple STEM and GWATA organizations, NCESD can come along side and bolster the great STEM work already taking place at the K-12 level in NCW and statewide,” said Pete Phillips, Executive Director Technology Services at the North Central Educational Service District.
Founding backbone organization, Wenatchee Valley College, has been instrumental in getting the collaborative off the ground and provided the matching funds to incubate an investment from statewide nonprofit, Washington STEM, through both the planning phase, and the first year of operation.
“The support of Jim Richardson and the WVC faculty has enabled the Apple STEM Network to grow and serve students across the region. At GWATA, we’re thankful to continue to have the connection with WVC and look forward to the expanded impact the network will make through NCESD”, Co-director of the Apple STEM Network and Executive Director for GWATA, Jenny Rojanasthien.
WVC remains fully invested in the work and will remain a vibrant lead partner in the collaboration and steering of the Apple STEM Network.
The group does not anticipate significant changes to the vision and scope of work of the Apple STEM Network, or their partnership with GWATA or Washington STEM. Jenny Rojanasthien and Dr. Sue Kane, will continue to co-direct the STEM Network.
“Apple STEM Network has rapidly risen to become a role model for other STEM Networks throughout the state and we know the partnership with North Central Educational Service District will make their work even stronger,” said Lee Lambert, Washington STEM’s Network Director.
The Apple STEM Network is a three-dimensional alliance of K-12, Higher Ed and community partners seeded at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers, including the cities of Cashmere, Wenatchee and East Wenatchee in Chelan and Douglas counties. We represent a diverse region with tremendous potential for STEM industry in agriculture, energies and innovation. With our collective efforts we intend to: provide a constructive support system for educators who aim to meet the rising challenge for all students to develop 21st century skills and STEM literacy, to integrate community mentorship and promote authentic project-based learning and field experiences for all levels of education, and engage students in exploring the world of opportunities on the horizon through STEM.
The North Central Educational Service District is a resource to the 29 districts within the four-county service area, providing professional and timely tools to meet the needs of individual schools and districts, and a reliable point of education-related information for the communities served. The NCESD is a respected resource to other ESDs throughout Washington State.