Since its establishment in 2008, the Washington State STEM Education Foundation has worked toward fostering a 100% home-grown STEM workforce. This is part of the vision of becoming a national model for passionate support for STEM education.
We support a view that STEM literacy is a foundational skill that matters for all careers. STEM builds critical thinking abilities, creativity and collaboration skills. Gaining STEM proficiency provides the basis for these skills and builds the flexibility to adapt quickly to frequent changes in the labor market.
The Foundation’s first project was to support the funding and launch of Delta High. Long before most communities were placing emphasis on STEM education, Tri-Cities leaders were hard at work designing our region’s award-winning STEM school, Delta High, which opened in 2009.
Delta High put the Mid-Columbia on the STEM map and led the way for numerous STEM elementary schools that followed. A new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) middle school is scheduled to open in the fall. The outstanding STEM offerings at Columbia Basin College and Washington State University-Tri-Cities are the capstones of our local STEM education portfolio.
In 2014, the Foundation expanded its impact by forming the Mid-Columbia STEM Network, one of the now 10 STEM Networks across the state led by Washington STEM, a Seattle-based non-profit. Working in partnership with leaders from business, education, government and community-based organizations and volunteers across the state, we deliver STEM resources and opportunities to the Mid-Columbia through three key strategies.