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Google partners with CSU to bolster STEM education in California

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A brain trust of educators, philanthropists and business leaders convened in San Diego to discuss how science, technology, engineering and math – STEM subjects – are taught in California schools.

The summit wrapped up Tuesday afternoon - but not before honoring a dozen “Leading Women in STEM”, all of whom work in science and technology-driven fields. Including LA’s own, Rachel Bondi, Chief of Mobile Innovations for the talent agency, CAA.

The other big reveal: a $25,000 grant that partners Google with the California State University System, and the California STEM Learning Network – the nonprofit that hosted the conference.

All three organizations are members of the “100K in 10” campaign – a program the Obama administration launched to recruit 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade.  (An attempt to thwart the looming shortage of STEM teachers across the country.)

Chris Roe, CEO of the California STEM Learning Network, said he learned about the award “a few days ago.” Roe said the initiative will support new science and math elementary teachers in STEM through an online professional learning community. Enrolled teachers will receive graduate credit transferable to a Master’s Degree.

Within California’s education budget, $25,000 is barely a blip on the radar, but Roe insists that the money will go a long way toward improving STEM education statewide.

“It’s often times the small money at the margins that can create the incentives for groups to work together that might not otherwise do so.  So I think the grant amount is very small but what it does is it changes behavior.”

Roe said the collaboration will roll out slowly. A few Cal State campuses will begin to offer the online courses shortly after the holidays. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story reported the grant was funded by Google. It is funded by "100k in 10" campaign.