With a Challenge, US2020 Spurs Effort to Bring New Learning Models to Low-Income Schools


San Mateo, CA—Eight community organizations from across the nation were recognized today at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California for developing innovative models to scale STEM mentorship and maker-centered learning experiences for students in low-income communities.

The eight organizations were among 92 that responded to a challenge from the national education nonprofit US2020 to develop partnerships where corporate volunteers teach low-income children and inspire them to learn and follow a career path involving science, technology, engineering and math. Research shows career opportunities in these fields are expected to outpace other fields. US2020 is a division of Citizen Schools.

STEM Challenge winners were selected based on four main criteria: Impact, Effective Partnerships, Creative Engagement, and Sustainability.

“We established the STEM Challenge as a way to showcase communities across the country working to bring STEM mentorship and maker-centered learning opportunities to traditionally underrepresented students,” said Emily McCann, CEO of Citizen Schools. “What we didn't quite anticipate was the overwhelming national response to the application --a clear demonstration that we need more support and partnership with these kinds of initiatives."

Representatives from each winning organization were on hand to be recognized. Winners will share in a $1 million in total cash and in-kind value. Support for the STEM Challenge comes from Schmidt Futures, Arconic Foundation and Genentech.

US2020 launched at the 2013 White House Science Fair and has built a network of coalitions comprised of companies, organizations, schools, government agencies, and cities. This year, the US2020 network will serve 50,000 students through its quality-driven STEM mentoring movement.

Media Contact:

Matt Ellis
Ellis Strategies, Inc.
matt@ellisstrategies.com | 617.278.6560