OSIT has partnered with the Desert Research Institute (DRI) to manage three Networks, (Southern, Northwestern, and Rural Nevada) to coordinate partners representing K-12 and Higher Education, business, industry, public libraries, after-school providers, non-profits, government, and philanthropy to identify and scale up high-quality STEM programs that will prepare students for Nevada’s 21st century workforce. The goals of the three Regional STEM Networks are to:
- Increase the number and quality of formal and informal STEM-focused education programs in all communities in Nevada.
- Increase student awareness, interest, enrollment, and achievement in formal and informal STEM-focused education programs.
- Grow the number and depth of school-business-community STEM partnerships.
- Identify on-the-ground programmatic gaps or implementation challenges in need of a state-level solution.
- Grow interest, awareness, and achievement in STEM in the region.
- Carry out on-the-ground implementation of state-level programs/goals.
- Identify and build local programs and initiatives worthy of scaling statewide.
- Create and facilitate partnerships and the sharing of resources among K-12, higher education, and business/industry within the region.
Desert Research Institute was awarded $8,415.00 from the Rural Nevada STEM Network to produce Robotics STEM Kits: Hands-on Activities for Youth of All ages. These kits are for formal and informal education settings, free of charge. Each STEM Kit can reach anywhere from 50 to 2000 families and students.
Desert Research Institute was awarded $2,711 from the Rural Nevada STEM Network Region (additional awards of $2,711 from Southern and $2,711 from Northwestern Region were also awarded for a total of $8,132) to create and implement statewide virtual teacher professional development workshops which connects educators with experts across different scientific disciplines.
Great Basin College was awarded $37,607 by the Rural Nevada STEM Network for the BuildNV Core Construction Training. This program will teach the basics skills needed to start a career in the construction industry and will have multiple classes throughout Rural Nevada. It’s open to all genders, ethnicities, unemployed, and employed community members who are at least 18 years old. GBC is partnering with Lithium Nevada, Humboldt County School District, Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone tribe, Join Inc., and location construction companies to help students find employment after the class. This program’s first locations will be Winnemucca, Lovelock, and McDermitt. Great Basin College is looking to expand this program to other rural Nevada communities in the following years. Approximately 20 students will participate in each class in each location.
REC Foundation was awarded $5,315 from the Rural Nevada STEM Network (additional awards of $5,315 from Southern and $5,215 from Northwestern Regions were also awarded for a total of $15,945). Network funding will cover the necessary time and resources to create two virtual teacher professional development workshops to cover the skills needed to build, code, and operate robotics for afterschool STEM programming. 12 teachers per region will be selected to participate in this program, and they will also receive a robot to build along with online instruction. The goal is to establish 36 new robotic competition teams throughout the state.
Sierra Nevada Journeys was awarded $5,952 to support the development and rollout of five Rural Nevada focused environmentally themed, virtual lessons. For two of the lessons will focus on environmental topics that affect our Native American Tribes. These lessons will be offered online to teachers throughout the region at no charge and will be connected to Nevada Academic Content Standards. Since accessibility is limited only by student access to the internet the reach of the program can extend up to and beyond 10,000 students in the 2020-2021 school year.