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 STEM Ambassador Program

 

Deadline: Friday, Jan. 21, 2022

 

Apply for the 2022 STEM Ambassador Program

 

Developing STEM Policy Leaders in Pennsylvania

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.

STEM Ambassadors supported successful advocacy efforts totaling $70 million over two years in the state STEM/workforce investment known as PAsmart as well as statewide STEM competitions and events, the building of STEM Learning Ecosystems, STEM camps and resources. STEM Ambassadors have also been involved in the development of STEM Learning Ecosystems and serving on committees for Pennsylvania Integrated Standards for Science, Environment, Ecology, Technology and Engineering.

 

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, a 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 Ron 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 Ron Chris Neitzey joined the Afterschool Alliance in August 2018 as the director of STEM Initiatives. In this role, Neitzey works to advance federal, state, and local policy to expand access to high-quality afterschool and summer STEM programming. Prior to joining the Afterschool Alliance, he led the policy and advocacy work of the New York State Network for Youth Success, New York’s statewide afterschool network. Neitzey also worked for the Maryland Science Center prior to his work in New York, delivering STEM programs to students in-school and in afterschool programs across the mid-Atlantic region.
Portait of Ron 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 Ron 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.

 

Read more about the program to get an idea of what being a STEM Ambassador entails.

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 sessions 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 STEM Ambassador program has an annual fee to assist with program-related costs — the 2022 fee will be posted when determined. 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. Participants have the option to attend the required training either virtually or in-person (based upon capacity limitations and per state pandemic guidance). The 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 Winnie Black for sponsorship letter templates and fundraising tips to ensure a successful sponsorship.

The program fee will be due after acceptance into the program.

 

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 by a certain date. Space is limited, early applications are encouraged. All accepted STEM Ambassadors will be asked to sign a letter of agreement promising good faith efforts to fulfill the duties of an Ambassador.

 

Apply for the 2022 STEM Ambassador Program

 

Sponsorship Opportunities for Organizations

Support the STEM Ambassador Program, a 10-month leadership training opportunity, 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. So far, STEM Ambassadors supported successful advocacy efforts totaling $70 million over three years in the state STEM/workforce investment known as PAsmart.

Additional questions? Contact PSAYDN.

 

Sponsorship Opportunities

 

Premiere $10,000 | Limited to three

 

Major $5,000 | Several available

 

Supporting $1,500 | Many available

 

Individual $900 | Availability depending on the number of Ambassadors

 

Other Opportunities

 

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

 

Payment

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

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

 

About PSAYDN

With nearly 3,000 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 and 65 STEM 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
 
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