Dr. DeSiato Chosen for International STEM Leadership InitiativeEast Syracuse Minoa Superintendent Dr. Donna DeSiato is among those chosen from 10 states and three countries to serve on the first Leadership Coordinating Council (LC2). The group of 16 will lead a global movement of leaders devoted to dramatic improvement of student learning, especially in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math.
The prestigious network called the STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice (SLECoP) selected Dr. DeSiato and the other members in a rigorous application process. The global network builds meaningful connections among community partners to prepare pre-k through college students for the opportunities and challenges of the future.
Dr. DeSiato hopes to expand innovative, inter-disciplinary STEM learning opportunities for all students that focus on problem-based learning to foster curiosity, questioning, creativity, and innovation for college, career and citizenship readiness.
The newly formed Council will support 94 communities working across the globe to improve STEM opportunities for all. The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice (SLECoP) was built on the fundamental belief that learning happens everywhere, not just in traditional classrooms. Consequently, ecosystems are made up of partners representing K-12 public and private education, business and industry, after-school providers, non-profits, STEM-rich institutions, government and philanthropy.
One of those 94 communities is the “East Syracuse Minoa Central School District STEM Learning Ecosystem.” Dr. DeSiato has led this Ecosystem since its inception in 2015. Among its members are leaders of Siemens Building Technologies, SUNY ESF, King & King Architects, Onondaga Community College, Partners for Education & Business, Syracuse University School of Education, Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY), Le Moyne College, The Study Council at Syracuse University and Village of Minoa.
During her term serving on the Leadership Coordinating Council (LC2), Dr. DeSiato plans to focus on providing leadership in fostering public-private partnerships for Pre-k to 12 schools with business, industry and higher education.
“We are thrilled that Donna DeSiato was chosen to join the first LC2 to guide the SLECoP and we look forward to her thought leadership to provide more best practices and learning opportunities for mobilizing entire communities to work to improve STEM opportunities for all,” said Jan Morrison, founder and CEO of the Teaching Institute of Excellence in STEM, the backbone organization supporting the SLECoP.
Dr. DeSiato and the ESM Ecosystem partners have already accomplished much to improve STEM opportunities locally. The ESM School District is one of only 19 Early College High Schools in New York State, a ground-breaking opportunity for students to earn a tuition-free college degree during their four years of high school.
ESM’s Spartan Academy prepares students for two-year degrees from Onondaga Community College in Computer Science, Engineering Science or Math/Science. In addition, hands-on, minds-on courses in environmental studies offer students a rigorous, real-life application experience at the Cleanwater Educational Research Facility in the Village of Minoa in partnership with SUNY ESF.
A course entitled “RχeSearch: An Educational Journey” supported by Bristol Myers Squibb, offers students a look at how pharmaceutical drugs are developed. ESM also offers one of the first high school Aviation Career Pathway Courses in New York State.
Regionally, the CNY STEM Scholars Program is a creative, collaborative STEM workforce recruitment strategy designed to attract and retain regional high school students who plan to pursue a college degree in a STEM related field. The program uses effective strategies for communication, selection of students interested in pursuing STEM careers and the process for awarding scholarships to graduating seniors, with a select amount focused on female and minority applicants. This highly effective program guarantees STEM Scholars an internship at one of eight companies supporting scholarship awards after their sophomore and junior years of college.
The SLECoP that appointed Dr. DeSiato to the Leadership Coordinating Council (LC2) is a global initiative of innovators who know that thriving communities are built through collaboration and a willingness to reimagine education and provide opportunities to those commonly neglected. It now includes ecosystems from over 40 states in the United States as well as international ecosystems in Kenya, Israel, Mexico, and Canada.
Forming STEM ecosystems was listed as the No. 1 priority in a 2018 report by the Federal Office of Science and Technology Policy intended to help guide STEM policy and implementation across the country.
Ecosystem partners recognize the importance of identifying needed skills for an economy yet to be conceived and lobbying for informed policies to meet 21st century needs.
The SLECoP offers the architecture and support for the ecosystems to connect to one another, learn and share best practices.
Learn more about the national initiative at stemecosystems.org. Address specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join online conversations on Twitter @STEMecosystems and #STEMecosystems and on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.