STEM Ambassadors

The Pennsylvania STEM Ambassador Program is made possible through PSAYDN, with training support from the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) and STEM Education Coalition, and sponsorship from the Afterschool Alliance and Overdeck Family Foundation.

 

Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network Announces 2019 Pennsylvania STEM Ambassadors

Program develops STEM policy leaders in Pennsylvania and recognizes 31 members of the second cohort.

Group photo of the 2019 STEM Ambassadors

 

February 28, 2019, Harrisburg, Pa.— Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) announced the second cohort of the Pennsylvania STEM Ambassadors Program, which aims to shape the future of STEM education in the commonwealth by targeting vital policy conversations to legislative leadership in the areas of STEM Learning ecosystems, computer science, apprenticeships, state and federal policy for formal and informal education, and workforce needs.

“Afterschool and summer programs play a major role in providing meaningful science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences to diverse groups of youth and PSAYDN is proud to join the ambassadors and partners in this important work,” said PSAYDN director Laura Saccente.

Thirty-one members of the 2019 cohort include representatives from K-12, higher education, business and industry, afterschool and summer programming, and early learning who will participate in the 10-month program to advance policy goals through outreach, education, relationships with policymakers and take on greater leadership responsibilities to develop a stronger voice in STEM education discussions and issues.

“With Governor Wolf’s commitment to the PAsmart initiative, workforce development realignment through career programming and bipartisan support for essential workforce needs, PA STEM Ambassadors are essential to increasing STEM opportunities in the commonwealth,” Saccente said. “The PA STEM Ambassadors will be a vital part in shaping these policies.”

Program training is also made possible through a partnership with the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) and the national STEM Education Coalition. Ron Cowell, currently president of EPLC, with 24 years of experience serving in the Pennsylvania General Assembly (1974-1998), lauded the program. “Informed and supportive public policies are vital to promoting STEM education throughout the commonwealth, and the PA STEM Ambassadors Program strengthens the STEM advocacy effort by building effective relationships with lawmakers who decide these policies.”

Throughout the program, PA STEM Ambassadors will be briefed on state and federal policy initiatives and take a leadership role in advancing STEM education policy priorities through various advocacy streams.

“The STEM Education Coalition is proud to have another opportunity to engage with the Pennsylvania afterschool and STEM education communities. Advocating the need for increased access to STEM education provides students – especially underrepresented groups – with innovative, hands-on learning opportunities that have been proven to improve skills and spark curiosity,” said James Brown, executive director of the STEM Education Coalition.

Also serving as a facilitator, Chris Neitzey, director of STEM Initiatives at the Afterschool Alliance, added, “Afterschool and summer programs foster STEM identity in young people through hands-on learning and career exploration. By reinforcing and supplementing formal STEM learning, afterschool and summer programs are critical partners in an effective and robust STEM ecosystem. The Afterschool Alliance is proud to continue our support for the PA STEM Ambassadors program, which serves as an innovative advocacy and engagement initiative for STEM learning.”

The 2019 ambassadors convened today for the first of monthly trainings and events through the support of the Center for Schools and Communities, a statewide training and consulting organization that offers a continuum of efforts around social and emotional learning, positive youth development, school safety and youth violence prevention, cultural competence, equity, education leadership, family support and community service integration, and early childhood care and development.

Media Contact
Aylissa Kiely
(717) 903-0219

 

2019 Pennsylvania STEM Ambassadors

 

2019 Pennsylvania STEM Ambassador Program

ENROLLMENT IS NOW CLOSED

 

The Ambassador Program is made possible through PSAYDN, with training support from the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) and STEM Education Coalition, and sponsorship from the Afterschool Alliance and Overdeck Family Foundation.

The Pennsylvania Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Ambassador opportunity is a strategic way to achieve state STEM/workforce policy goals. Ambassadors advance policy goals through outreach, education, targeted relationships with policymakers and building a coalition of local and regional support. STEM Ambassadors are leaders within their organizations, interested and committed to sharing their experiences and content knowledge with influential stakeholders. They also serve as role models to inspire and encourage youth to pursue opportunities for STEM exploration in both formal and informal learning environments.

Pennsylvania’s response to the challenges of the 21st century will be determined by opportunities put forth in STEM education and information technology. Positive change in the quality of our workforce is dependent upon quality STEM education, exposure and experiences. Partnerships with businesses, schools, community organizations and government are very important for STEM education and vital for economic development and quality job growth in Pennsylvania. The creation of the STEM Ambassador program would serve to train interested and experienced individuals to proactively engage with state agencies, policymakers, business/industry leaders, education entities and/or community providers to share data, experiences, networks and policy needs. The 2018 STEM Ambassadors supported successful advocacy efforts in the $30 million state STEM/workforce investment known as PAsmart.

You are encouraged to apply if you have:

Employers gain:

 

Benefits

 

Program Highlights

 

Commitment

 

Act 48 Credits

The Center for Schools and Communities, as a division of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, offers Act 48 professional development credit for those with Pennsylvania teaching or administrative certificates. Participants MUST attend session(s) from beginning to end and list their professional personnel ID (PPID) number on the appropriate Act 48 paperwork supplied by the Center for Schools and Communities to receive credit. If you are interested in receiving Act 48 credit, check the appropriate box on the registration form. Retrieve your PPID number from the Professional Education Record Management System and bring it with you to the conference.

 

Costs

The 2019 STEM Ambassador program has an annual fee of $900 to assist with program-related costs. It is also the responsibility of the Ambassador or sponsoring organization to cover any travel costs associated with the STEM Ambassador Training and other endorsed events. The minimum required travel is a one-day training in Harrisburg, Pa. The $900 program fee may be paid for by the STEM Ambassador, employer and or any public/private sponsoring individual/organization.

If the program fee is a hindrance to applying, please contact Laura Saccente for sponsorship letter templates and fundraising tips to ensure a successful sponsorship.

Program fee of $900 will be due after acceptance into the program, no later than February 18, 2019.

 

Selection Process

Applying does not guarantee acceptance in the program. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee to ensure a well-rounded cohort and prospective Ambassadors will be informed by February 8. Space is limited. All accepted 2019 STEM Ambassadors will be asked to sign a letter of agreement promising good faith efforts to fulfill the duties of an Ambassador.

 

Program Facilitation

The Ambassador program will be facilitated by PSAYDN through the Center for Schools and Communities. The STEM Education Coalition will provide consultants and presenters throughout the year. The Coalition works to raise awareness about the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. Ron Cowell, legislative/policy consultant for EPLC, is a trusted leader in education policy. Cowell served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 24 years until 1998.

Portait of James James Brown is the executive director of the STEM Education Coalition. Prior to joining the Coalition, he was director of advocacy at the American Chemical Society. A nuclear engineer by training, Brown previously worked as a legislative aide for Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, was director of policy and development at the Consumer Energy Council of America, and began his career as an engineer with Newport News Shipbuilding, working on aircraft carrier construction. Brown received a B.S. from the University of New Mexico and an M.S. from Penn State, both in nuclear engineering. He also holds an MBA from George Washington University.
Portait of Ron Since January 1999, Ron Cowell has been the president of The Education Policy and Leadership Center, an independent, nonpartisan and not-for-profit organization based in Harrisburg. He is an experienced policy leader who also is a frequent speaker, writer and consultant concerning education policy issues. Cowell served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for twenty-four years until 1998. While in the Legislature, he served as the majority or minority chair of the House Committee on Education for 12 years. Cowell also served for 12 years as a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education and for 20 years as a board member of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.
Portait of Lindsey Lindsey Gardner is the director of external relations for the STEM Education Coalition. She manages media, legislative and stakeholder relations for the Coalition. Previously, she spent three years working on scheduling, press and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee for U.S. Representative Justin Amash. Lindsey earned her bachelor degree in history and classical archaeology from the University of Michigan.
Portait of Judd Judd Pittman has more than ten years of urban education experience, between teaching middle school in Harrisburg City School District and serving on the elected school board. Pittman is an educational consultant at the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network where he focuses on professional development and technical assistance for educators and administrators in science, math, culturally responsive PBIS, formative assessment and classroom management. He serves as special consultant to the Secretary of Education for STEM. Pittman has a degree in ecology from Juniata College, a master’s degree in forest ecology from Virginia Tech University and a master’s degree in multi-cultural education from Eastern University.
Portait of Stephanie Stephanie Rodriguez joined the Afterschool Alliance fresh off her tenure as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation, where she worked on efforts to broaden participation in computer science and other STEM fields. Prior to the fellowship, Rodriguez completed her PhD in immunology at Washington University in St. Louis. While at WashU, she also directed the Young Scientist Program, a 25-year-old program that engages St. Louis public school teachers and students in hands-on STEM experiences while Providing critical resources to a community in need.
Portait of Laura Laura Saccente joined as the network director for PSAYDN in April 2015. Working with the PSAYDN steering committee, partners and stakeholders, she leads the network’s strategic vision and advocacy efforts, as well as maintains and develops public and private support. Saccente also serves on the Pennsylvania State Workforce Development Board Youth Council, statewide STEM Advisory Committee and is a partner with the Carbon-Schuylkill-Luzerne Stem Learning Ecosystem, one of five Stem Ecosystems recognized in Pennsylvania.
Portait of Winnie Dr. Winnie Black has been an afterschool leader involved in STEM since 1990. She coordinated STEM student support program for Kettering University for engineering, science and environmental majors. Black has designed and implemented head-start and K-5 literacy based STEM/environmental science project based learning curriculums. She was co-developer of the STELAR Career Development Skill Inventory. Currently, Black is co-principal investigator for the Philly Scientists ITEST grant and a National LEAD STEM for the Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne STEM Learning Ecosystem. Dr. Winnie Black has been an afterschool leader involved in STEM since 1990. She coordinated STEM student support program for Kettering University for engineering, science and environmental majors. Black has designed and implemented head-start and K-5 literacy based STEM/environmental science project based learning curriculums. She was co-developer of the STELAR Career Development Skill Inventory. Currently, Black is co-principal investigator for the Philly Scientists ITEST grant and a National LEAD STEM for the Carbon, Schuylkill and Luzerne STEM Learning Ecosystem.
Portait of Caroline Caroline Allen worked for the Pennsylvania Parent Information and Resource Center, and has served as president of the Pennsylvania PTA, a member of the National PTA Legislative Committee, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education, Gettysburg College Parent Advisory Committee and faculty member at Furman University’s Riley Institute. Allen is a PQAS certified instructor and also continues to serve on the PSEA Education Foundation Board, as the Family Involvement Conference Program Chair. She coordinates the PSAYDN Afterschool Ambassador program; during the last five years, more than 83 Ambassadors have learned how to build impactful relationships with federal and state policymakers.

 

Sponsorship Opportunities for Organizations

Support the STEM Ambassador Program, a 10-month leadership training opportunity and a strategic way to advance state STEM/workforce policy goals through education, targeting relationships with policymakers and building a coalition of local and regional support.

Sponsorship is your chance to reach a broad audience of influential stakeholders, including administrators, state and federal officials, national experts, educators, policymakers, program coordinators, youth development staff, STEM Learning Ecosystem members, community providers, higher education institutions, families and students, among others. Each opportunity comes with a tailored array of promotional benefits.

Pennsylvania’s response to the challenges of the 21st century will be determined by opportunities put forth in STEM education. Positive change in the quality of our workforce is dependent upon quality STEM education, exposure and experiences. The creation of the STEM Ambassador program would serve to train interested and experienced individuals to engage with state agencies, policymakers, business/industry leaders, education entities and/or community providers to share data, experiences, networks and policy needs. With your support, we can help advance state goals in STEM policy and workforce needs. 2018 STEM Ambassadors supported successful advocacy efforts in the $30 million state STEM/workforce investment known as PAsmart.

Additional questions? Contact Laura Saccente, PSAYDN director, (717) 370-1523.

 

2019 Sponsorship Opportunities

 

Premiere $10,000
Limited to three

 

Major $5,000
Several available

 

Supporting $1,500
Many available

 

Individual $900
Availability depending on number of Ambassadors

 

Other Opportunities

 

STEM Ambassador Webinar $250 single, $600 three, $800 annual

 

Afterschool/STEM Advocacy Day, State Capitol Harrisburg $3,000

 

Payment

Checks should be made payable to CSIU/Center for Schools and Communities and sent to:

Center for Schools and Communities
Attn. Debby Barry / STEM Ambassador
275 Grandview Avenue, Suite 200
Camp Hill, PA 17011

 

About PSAYDN

With nearly 2,700 members, the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) promotes sustainable, high quality out-of-school time youth development programs through advocacy and capacity building to enhance the welfare of Pennsylvania’s children, youth and families. PSAYDN believes all children and youth deserve access to programs that encourage positive youth development and support the successful transition to adulthood.

Since 2013, PSAYDN has trained a total of 82 Afterschool Ambassadors across the state. The Ambassador effort has resulted in legislators meeting within the district or Harrisburg offices; participating in Lights On Afterschool events; and recruiting Afterschool Caucus members. PSAYDN continues to be actively engaged with members of all Ambassador cohorts in elevating afterschool in Pennsylvania. PSAYDN is managed by the Center for Schools and Communities.

 

About the Center for Schools and Communities

Since 1988, the Center for Schools and Communities (Center) has been committed to improving outcomes for children and families through training, technical assistance, program evaluation, research and resource development. The Center’s work focuses on prevention and intervention initiatives operated by schools, organizations and agencies serving children, youth and families.

The Center’s staff have diverse backgrounds in education, human services, community development and the law, as well as specialized skills and experience in program development and design, evaluation, training and resource development. This combination of education and experience has enabled the Center to provide customized technical assistance to support the development of innovative programs in schools and communities.

PSAYDN at Center for Schools and Communities
275 Grandview Avenue, Suite 200 | Camp Hill, Pa 17011 | (717) 763-1661
 
© 2019 Center for Schools and Communities