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August 14 @ 8:30 am - 10:00 am
The St. Pete Innovation District would like to invite you to participate in a virtual convening of professionals who lead youth STEM/STEAM programs. The purpose of this convening is exploration – to share the successes, consider what is possible, and decide if there are opportunities for collaboration. If you would like to register please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Welcome and Introductions
- Agree on the collective goal (for the purpose of this discussion)
- Brief highlights about each program
- Group discussion about “what’s possible” and “what’s needed”
- Determine next steps for collaboration (if the group would like to continue)
Why Is This Important?
Career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) are continuing to increase. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts overall employment in the economy to grow by 7.4% between 2016 and 2026, while jobs in STEM fields are expected to grow by 10.8%. Imagine if you add the arts and humanities to these statistics.
The City of St. Petersburg and Pinellas County have identified target industries that are believed to be the foundation of our economic growth. Each of these fields have numerous STEAM careers. For example, the City’s target industries are Marine/Life Science, Data Analytics, Creative Art & Design, Specialized Manufacturing, and Financial Services. Diverse representation matters in these fields to increase innovation, team performance, and future growth. We would like to come up with a collective approach on building the skill sets of underrepresented populations, particularly Black students and other communities of color, in the STEAM careers.
Why Is The Innovation District Involved?
The Innovation District’s vision is to harness the potential of people, institutions, and businesses to generate collaborative solutions that benefit the world. We believe that diversity fuels this innovation. The District is STEAM focused and leads youth outreach activities such as the St Pete Science Festival. In addition, the District’s members have their own outreach activities (e.g., MarineQuest, Oceanography Camp for Girls). These activities are great at expanding students’ interests but may not do enough to connect those interests to future careers. We are exploring what is next to include revamping our efforts and/or providing support to others. We would like to learn from you – the experts – about what you recommend for next steps.
Digital Inclusion Working Group: Cross-Sector Convening Example
On February 14, 2020, a cross-section of organizations convened by the Innovation District to discuss digital literacy/inclusion in St. Petersburg. The purpose of this convening was to share information about existing programs that were providing digital training, technology support and internet access, and to learn from Tech Goes Home Chattanooga. As a result of that discussion the group decided to form the Digital Inclusion Working Group and is working towards a long-term vision for eliminating digital inequities in St. Petersburg. This group has coordinated partners for immediate impact. One example: expanded open WiFi on the Deuces corridor and in Childs Park. Group efforts have also led to securing a grant to pay for a Work Group coordinator. We propose replicating this approach for the STEAM convening if the participants agree.