A Decade of Results

Long before others knew that STEM stands for SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING and MATHEMATICS, our region was committed to ensuring that every young person experiences STEM’s power and possibilities. Through visionary leadership and vibrant partnership, our community has made extraordinary strides over the past decade.

2008

Washington State STEM Education Foundation (WSSEF) forms, governed by area business and education leaders.

WSSEF manages grant funds and in-kind community support, establishing the region’s first STEM high school, The Delta High (Delta).

2009

Battelle Foundation provides additional $1.2M to WSSEF to support Delta operations.

Pasco, Kennewick and Richland school boards collaborate to codify joint management of Delta.

300 students apply for 110 lottery slots, marking the inaugural Delta class. 

Columbia Basin College provides its Richland campus, rent-free, as temporary Delta school site.

2010

WSSEF raises $800,000 in cash and in-kind support from donors, and $5.4M in state funds to help site, design and build Delta.

2011

State Superintendent of Public Instruction designates Delta a “Washington State Innovative School.”

2013

Inaugural graduation class of Delta.

2014

Designed by WSSEF, STEM Like ME! piloted to bring STEM professionals into classrooms to spark interest in careers.

Rosalind Franklin STEM Elementary opens in Pasco.

In partnership with Washington STEM, the Mid-Columbia STEM Network launches, and is one of 10 networks to share best practices and leverage resources across the state.

Groundbreaking for Delta’s permanent home in Pasco.

2015

Delta begins school year in new facilities.

Hanford contractors expand internship programs to support Delta’s goal of 80% of students completing an internship prior to graduation.

Three additional STEM elementary schools dedicated.

WSSEF supports awarding of $6M in STEM scholarships to 263 area students through Washington State Opportunity Scholarships.

2016

Leona Libby STEAM Middle School launches in Richland.

STEM Like ME! Grants for Teachers debuts— providing grants of up to $1,000 each— supporting 2,400 local students.

STEM Like ME! featured as best practice at Microsoft during Governor’s Summit on Career Connected Learning.

2018

Finley School District rallies community to raise $100,000 to qualify for $3M state grant to open new STEM/Career and Technical Education facility.

Tri-Tech Skills Center in Kennewick dedicates innovative facility featuring drone technology and advanced manufacturing careers.

The ongoing collective impact strategy to bring together business, education, government, and the community at large has created unique partnerships in higher education. Nearly 70% of students at Washington State University-Tri-Cities pursue STEM degrees, and Columbia Basin College is home to high-demand STEM degree and certificate programs. WSSEF’s advocacy, awareness and engagement efforts inspire increased investments in STEM education, expand STEM volunteerism, and help support the exponential growth of community and school-based STEM events and activities. If we continue this trajectory of innovation and collaboration, just imagine what we will accomplish in the next decade!