Amgen Foundation Goes to the White House: STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative

Dec 8, 2015 9:30 AM ET

At Amgen Foundation, we believe science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs are crucial to creating the next generation of innovators and scientists. As such, we’re honored to support and provide grants to some of the best STEM programs in the world.

One such program is the Ventura County (VC) STEM Regional Network, a leadership hub for local organizations to work together to improve educational outcomes in STEM for all students throughout Ventura County. In 2014, Amgen Foundation awarded a $75,000 grant that made VC STEM possible, and since then, the Foundation has provided an additional $100,000 to help further VC STEM’s mission.

Recently, the VC STEM Regional Network was selected to be one of the 27 communities to pilot the national STEM Learning Ecosystems Initiative, which plans to utilize cross-sector collaboration to develop creative ways to increase the equity and quality of STEM learning outcomes for all.

“Ventura County is a very unique environment with a lot of STEM potential,” said VC STEM Planning Director Philip Hampton, Ph.D., a Professor of Chemistry at California State University Channel Island. “We’re excited to work with local organizations to improve educational outcomes in STEM for all students throughout Ventura County. And we couldn’t have done it without support from the Amgen Foundation.”

After providing the grant to VC STEM last year, the Amgen Foundation nominated VC STEM to be a part of the STEM Ecosystems Initiative. More than 70 communities from all over the U.S. were in the running through the invite-only nomination process. Of the 70 nominees, 27 communities were selected because they demonstrated strong collaboration to promote and deliver rigorous STEM learning.

Recently, Jessica Halloran of the Amgen Foundation had the privilege of attending the first gathering of the STEM Ecosystems Initiative’s selected communities, which was hosted at the White House on Thursday, November 12.

“The Amgen Foundation is deeply committed to supporting STEM initiatives across the U.S. and globally,” said Jessica. “The meeting at the White House reinforced the critical importance of efforts to ensure students are getting access to robust STEM programs in school, after school, in museums and other informal learning spaces to inspire our future innovators.”

The three other VC STEM members in attendance were: Philip Hampton, Ph.D., VC STEM Planning Director; Tiffany Morse, Ph.D., Director of Career Education at the Ventura County Office of Education; and Marcella Klein Williams, Ed.D., the co-founder of the VC STEM Network and co-founder of Solve for Pattern, an organization that connects STEM learning with regional workforce needs.

To learn more, visit the Amgen Foundation website and STEM Learning Ecosystems website. Follow @AmgenFoundation to stay up to date with all STEM-related news from the Amgen Foundation.