As many of you know, STEM++ is a project of MakeKnowledge, a California 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. In 2018, we saw the chance to instantiate the STEM++ ideas in the world of climate action, so we launched Global Climate Changemakers in the Fall of that year, to coincide with the big Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not working on the core STEM++ project. We have been busy here on a number of fronts, including submitting a raft of grant applications to push parts of this work forward. We admit, it is challenging raising money for a project this ambitious. As this recent article in Social Innovations Journal shows, funders have a far easier time understanding direct service projects than system change / framework change proposals. That has been our experience in the STEM / education space, too. It would be easier to raise money for an after-school program or new curriculum, than for the STEM++ project which aims at improving the entire STEM education landscape. This does not mean that there are not smaller ways to tackle this big work — there are many ‘sub-projects’ in the STEM++ roadmap that would benefit from smaller grants. But we also know that we need to bring funders along with us to understand the bigger issues underneath the surface phenomena. So we continue to look for patient, curious funders and organizations willing to think big and start small.
On a concrete level, we’re talking with a few different groups at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education to move a few different projects forward. One of these pieces we are particularly excited about is our STEM autobiography project.
At the end of February, we had the chance to present the STEM++ work at Singularity University’s Future of Learning conference. (See pictures below.)
You’ll also see some exciting events and projects coming later this Spring from the Global Climate Changemakers side. As we say above, the STEM++ DNA is baked into that work. That is, if we want to solve climate change, we will need everyone. We need diverse STEM-empowered voices and minds coming together to generate creative ideas for sustainability and resilience. Climate change disproportionally affects marginalized communities, which makes it especially urgent that all voices are included in its solution.
A final note: we have launched a fundraising site and welcome support of any size, as we try to raise $50,000 total in smaller donations. We have been greatly encouraged by the people who have stepped up to donate what they could, and especially impressed by how diverse a group it is. That means a lot, because it shows that the mission of STEM++ is resonating. Please consider making a donation of whatever size makes sense here: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/makeknowledge2019 . Thank you, and stay tuned for more news this Spring!