NEWPORT NEWS—The City of Newport News has partnered with the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES) as well as other businesses and community organizations to launch the Coastal Virginia (COVA) STEM HUB, a STEM Learning Ecosystem. This innovative collaboration will encourage young people’s engagement in STEM disciplines, develop their knowledge, strengthen their persistence, and nurture their sense of identity and belonging in the field. This global approach catalyzes workforce and economic development through collaboration by sharing resources, information, and best practices while leveraging the expertise of leaders from education, business and industry, non-profits, philanthropy, and other sectors.
“Newport News is proud to lead this important STEM initiative in the commonwealth,” said Mayor McKinley L. Price. “The Coastal Virginia STEM HUB will ensure residents have access to STEM education and engagement activities, regardless of their age, gender, or socioeconomic status. With support from our diverse list of partners, we plan to create a talent pool prepared to tackle the challenges of workplaces of the future.”
One of the goals of COVA STEM HUB is to engage partners from a wide range of fields and industries to reimagine STEM, leverage resources, and maximize results. Potential partners include educational institutions, businesses, nonprofits, museums, libraries, and others. More than 55 partners attended the first virtual meeting in May.
COVA STEM HUB was created using research findings from the Virginia STEM Education Commission, which was launched by Governor Ralph Northam to transfer and share integrated and equitable STEM learning priorities. The goal is to develop and advance a STEM-literate, capable, and collaborative community to ensure Virginia’s continued economic success and growth in a global society.
The COVA STEM HUB is following the model created by TIES that is being used in 94 official STEM Ecosystems across the globe. Young people who live in communities with deep cross-sector partnerships and systems in place that mobilize learning and maximize resources typically are better prepared to excel in secondary education, post-secondary, and workplaces. Students connected to STEM ecosystems and the pathways they create are empowered to combine what they learn in and out of school, with real-world opportunities, leading to STEM-related careers.