EvanSTEM seeks to improve access and engagement for students who have traditionally underperformed or have been underrepresented in STEM programs. This community collaboration aims to connect and coordinate Evanston STEM education providers in their efforts to do so. Led by District 65 and funded by the Noyce Foundation, EvanSTEM is working to address opportunity gaps in Evanston and specifically targets the 40% of Evanston students who come from underserved backgrounds and low-income households.
Science in Society staff serve on the EvanSTEM Board of Directors, and the center is actively involved in the initiative’s programs and development projects. The D65 Coordinator, which supports the EvanSTEM group and fosters partnerships between Northwestern and D65, is a SiS staff member. This staff member is embedded at D65 to better identify and execute on opportunities for collaboration between Northwestern and D65 schools and teachers.
Like all of the center's programming, this work is firmly grounded in supporting underserved communities with high-quality, impactful STEM opportunities.
While Evanston is often considered among the real-life counterparts to the leafy, homogenous, and affluent suburbs in John Hughes movies, the reality is much more complex. More than one in three households earns less than $50,000 a year. At Dawes Elementary School, for example, 56% of students are on public assistance and/or qualify for free and reduced school meals and an estimated 2% are homeless.
EvanSTEM's goal is to provide Evanston's underserved students with quality, STEM education by building a bridge between the university's resource and D65 schools.
The project is a STEMecosystems Community of Practice.