What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
Taking a project to scale always creates problems. Creating the capacity to oversee the amount of data that we anticipate (and hope) will be entered on the site will require oversight and screening. Reaching out to potential partners will require time and resources. We have been fortunate to have the enthusiastic participation of STRIVE, CPS and OSLN as the program was developed. STRIVE, OSLN and UC have committed to provide ongoing support as the project grows. This depth of support will provide support to overcome barriers and attract new partners as the project grows, bringing more resources to overcome barriers.
Tell us about your partnerships
Cincinnati Public Schools is moving forward to raise student achievement. CPS is Ohio's third largest, serving 34,600 K-12 students. It is the testing site for the Lab.
The University of Cincinnati School of Education seeks to improve outcomes for students in high needs schools by preparing professionals who recognize the moral imperative to teach all children. Instilling 21st century skills information and communication, thinking and problem solving, and interpersonal relationships and self-direction provides the foundation for our work. The School of Education will lead the professional development component of the Lab.
STRIVE, a subsidiary of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, brings together community leaders to catalyze a national movement focused on the success of every child from cradle to career. Building on the principles of collective impact, Strive is helping communities unite stakeholders around shared goals, measures and results in education, and organizing a national network of communities. Strive’s will recruit resources to support the Lab and assist in dissemination of results.
The Ohio STEM Learning Network, a program of the Battelle Institute, is an initiative that connects and unites the STEM education assets in Ohio and provides a forum to share the work. Its goal is to provide a STEM innovation and knowledge network engaging all of Ohio’s formal and informal educational assets to continuously improve STEM curriculum, instruction, assessment, teacher quality, leadership and community engagement.
Explain your selections
The support for the project, its institutionalization, and sustainability will continue to be the responsibility of the founding partnership of CPS, the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, and UC. The project advisory board is committed for a minimum 25-year horizon for investments and support for STEM Education and Innovation to sustain a rigorous transformation agenda in our portfolio of urban-serving schools. The goals for ongoing support include the implementation of a comprehensive development plan and fundraising. However, we are determined to move the project from a reliance on one-time grant funding to a fiscally sustainable model. The partner organizations are planning over a 5-year horizon to integrate sufficient core funding for the STEM High School and Innovation Lab into their respective annual budgets (CPS & UC). These core commitments will be complemented by the development plan/fundraising and some training grants. Our commitment is to transition this project from one-time funding to full inclusion in the institutional budgets with additional fiscal resources to support the training, collaboration, and best practices dissemination goals of the STEM Innovation Lab. Additionally, the project will be leveraging the personnel resources of the founding organizations including 1) STEM teacher interns; 2) Woodrow Wilson STEM Teacher Fellows; 3) distinguished teachers and faculty in residence, and 4) University of Cincinnati service learning undergraduate and graduates who will serve their volunteer hours with the project.
How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?
Working with current and new partners, we believe that the diversity of the partnership and the input from new participants will significantly strengthen the project. By encouraging active participation and engaging multiple perspectives, the curriculum and projects will be improved, reflect diversity and become a resource for everyone committed to enhancing STEM education.