Our Interim Executive Director, Bruce Simon, shared his insights about the state of STEM education in the Bay Area and beyond for the annual San Francisco Business Times' STEM Education Summit hosted at the San Francisco Exploratorium on November 15th. With three decades of experience in education, Bruce is a leader in the field and has been working tirelessly to address the issues of STEM equity, teacher shortages, and providing quality professional development and growth to K-12 educators.
As a distinguished panelist, he highlighted outlined our Roadmap to Success with our four primary areas of focus:
Early math education. "The research is very compelling that math skills are predictive of where students are going to end up later in their educational careers, so we’re focused on math education for young children – we’re talking three and four year-olds."
Out-of-school time. "The average elementary school student in California receives 22-minutes of science each week. We support organizations that provide opportunities for young people to learn STEM outside of school".
Professional learning for teachers. "We work with our pre-service teachers and provide professional development for teachers who are already in the classroom. We have provided thousands of hours of professional development to thousands of teachers."
Transitions. "A challenging stage in a student’s educational development is when they transition from high school to college and then to careers - we help those students see the opportunities, understand the challenges, and ensure they are as prepared as possible.”
Bruce was also featured in the SF Business Times' publication where he highlighted the work the Institute for STEM Education and our larger CSU East Bay campus is doing to help students visualize themselves in STEM careers. Simon noted that, "We understand that in high school lots of students are taking chemistry, biology, physics and earth science and they might not feel like it has any relevance to what's happening. We try to show them that in the communities in which they're living there are exciting things happening at are actually using those scientific disciplines."