This week, US2020 hosted their tenth bi-annual City Network Convening in Downey, CA, at the Columbia Memorial Space Center. This convening marked the first time representatives from all 22 communities were together since the STEM Coalition Challenge winners and finalists were announced earlier this year.
US2020 Managing Director, Colin Lacy opened the convening, followed by Columbia Memorial Space Center President, Benjamin Dickow, who shared the museum’s impressive history as the former Boeing/Rockwell/North American plant where all of the Apollo Command/Service Modules were built and the Space Shuttle was conceived. Mk Haley, head of Academic Research for Disney Imagineering, spoke on the impact of storytelling, sharing brilliant stories about how one marketing pivot or unconventional approach can spark a moment that becomes a legacy, much like that of Walt Disney himself.
The day was filled with opportunities for networking, and was focused on helping each community to develop a clear, actionable, roadmap for achieving the grand, “moonshot-sized” goals needed for success locally. Christofer Nelson from the Association of Science-Technology Centers led the workshopping, encouraging the group to think of goals that were clear and ambitious, yet achievable. They were then challenged to break down those goals further, creating actual commitments to help achieve their goals through maker-centered learning. The day wrapped with community members pairing up to craft funding pitches that were critically critiqued Shark Tank style, by Arconic Foundation’s, Senior Program Manager, Ryan Kish, helping to strengthen these asks to their fullest potential.
Thank you to all that were able to join us, including Arconic Foundation for helping to make this day possible. We are constantly inspired by your commitment to building STEM mentoring and maker-centered learning movements in communities across the country!