The Foundation

The Washington State STEM Education Foundation is a national model for generating passionate support for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in Public Education: Every Student, Every Day

In 2006, concerned leaders from the private sector approached the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland School Districts with a visionary idea -creating an innovative STEM high school specifically designed to prepare students with the skills necessary to succeed in the modern workplace. In 2008, the Washington State STEM Education Foundation was formed in support of this revolutionary school, Delta High School, with the mission to create a substantial and sustainable impact on the quality of STEM education in the Mid-Columbia.  

Known as the STEM Foundation, we support a view that STEM literacy is a foundational skill which matters for all careers, not just the technology workforce. STEM builds critical thinking abilities because it addresses how we view and experience the world around us. Especially at a time when global challenges in water, climate, and energy require broad and comprehensive solutions across policy and technology, proficiency in English, mathematics, technology, and science, as well as literature, history, and the arts will be essential. Our future workforce must be comfortable with ideas and abstractions, analysis and synthesis. Gaining a STEM proficiency provides the foundation for these skills, and also helps build the flexibility to adapt quickly to frequent changes in the labor market that are expected as global shifts in the economy become faster.

We are a non-profit organization incorporated in 2009 and located in the Tri-Cities area (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland) of Washington state.

 

June 2013 News Release:

The Washington State STEM Education Foundation (STEM Foundation) is pleased to announce that $5.4m has been approved in the capital budget for the construction of DELTA High School.  

In final hours of budget negotiations, representatives from our community continued their requests for Delta High, seeking ways to complete the remaining budget gap necessary to start construction of the new 45,000 square foot Delta High School.  The dollars will be partnered with funds raised locally with the balance committed previously by Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Delta is precluded from issuing a public bond to construct a school facility; therefore, the State’s support was key. 
 
The STEM Foundation, in partnership with the Tri-Cities Legislative Council, submitted the $5.4M request at the beginning of the 2013 legislative session.  However, it was not included in the initial capital budget proposal. This made the request an even heavier lift during an unprecedented extended legislative session.  
 
Senator Sharon Brown led the way during the budget negotiations, reminding her colleagues that “this is an innovative project that requires leadership.  Delta is just too important; it’s critical to our state as an example of the innovative teaching and education necessary to ensure that students in Washington are ready to compete globally.” Her colleagues listened and Delta was placed in the Senate’s final version of the capital budget that was adopted as presented with the legislature then ending their second special session. 
 
Tom Yount, Washington State STEM Education Foundation President stated, “This has been a true team effort from many community leaders, Representatives and Senators. We are thankful and pleased with the legislature’s support that will allow more students from all three local school districts to benefit from a focused STEM education.” The new funding now allows Delta to initiate construction of the new campus so that students and teachers will have permanent and long-term place to go.
 
“This was critical and we cannot thank all of our legislators enough,”  stated Phil Ohl, STEM Foundation board member.  In addition, “This truly was a team effort, Jerome Delvin lent his support in the early introduction of the project in the fall of 2012.  Legislators of the 8th, 9th and 16th districts continued their support and Sen. Sharon Brown worked tirelessly through the session and took charge in the final budget negotiations."

As a unique model of collaboration with three school districts focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Delta is making tremendous strides to produce a new generation of STEM-literate citizens by spurring innovation throughout all our local, regional and state public schools. Delta is already out-pacing local, state and national performance in standardized testing.  Delta High School is reforming and transforming public education – establishing a new paradigm – to provide the educated workforce needed for future economic growth in Washington state.