VC STEM Network is Growing Future Scientists and Engineers

Now more than ever, Ventura County employers need workers with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM. Helping ensure local students are prepared to meet that need is the goal of the Ventura County STEM Network (VC STEM), which is an initiative of the Ventura County P-20 Council. 

The network builds connections between schools and businesses, provides mentoring opportunities and helps educators learn from successful STEM programs throughout Ventura county and across the country. “We want to facilitate resource sharing and collaboration so we can learn from each other and take practices that are working in one school and expand them to other schools,” says VC STEM Director Phil Hampton. 

Hampton, a professor of chemistry at CSU Channel Islands, helped launch VC STEM in 2014 with the assistance of grants to CSU Channel Islands from the Amgen Foundation. To encourage participation from a broad group of education partners, Hampton says, “We made a conscious decision to launch it as an initiative of the P-20 Council so it could truly be a network of equals.” 

In a few short years, VC STEM has built an enviable reputation as an innovator in advancing STEM education. It was selected by the STEM Funders Network as a STEM Ecosystem for its success in expanding learning opportunities. It’s also one of just eleven STEM collaboratives in the nation to be designated a US2020 City Network partner for its commitment to expanding STEM mentoring, particularly for low-income and minority students. 

In addition, VC STEM created a self-assessment tool called VC STEM 3D (Discover, Dream, and Design) that helps local schools improve the effectiveness of their STEM programs. It also reaches out to families to promote STEM learning by promoting programs such as Bedtime Math and the Crazy 8’s Club, which offer a variety of fun activities to get kids excited about mathematics. 

The Ventura County Office of Education is proud to partner with VC STEM. Dr. Tiffany Morse, VCOE’s Executive Director for Career Education, and Science Coordinator Nathan Inouye are members of the VC STEM steering committee. 

 Learn more about the Ventura County STEM Network at www.vcstem.org.

The VC STEM Network inspires teachers to bring STEM education to their classrooms at the CSUCI Science Carnival.

The VC STEM Network inspires teachers to bring STEM education to their classrooms at the CSUCI Science Carnival.


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