OP3portunities Newsletter

STEM Opportunities for Youth

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Youth in Fairfax County now have a new way to connect with STEM (science, engineering, technology and math) educational and enrichment opportunities in Fairfax County.

STEM Opportunities for Youth is a new Fairfax County sponsored website for youth of all ages to find programs offered by County parks, libraries, community centers, as well as nonprofit organizations and local universities.

It’s a one-stop, easy-to-navigate portal that includes an interactive, searchable map and calendar with links to programs offering youth the chance to learn a new skill or get hands-on experience in STEM.  These extracurricular activities help youth connect to what they are learning in school about math, science, and technology and may inspire their interest in future educational or career choices.

This webpage is especially helpful for families looking to find a program, learn more about STEM or connect their child with an activity or program. Most programs require registration and about half the programs are free.  Businesses and organizations can use this site to better understand opportunities to partner or invest in the community. This resource was developed through a partnership between Fairfax County Public Library, government agencies, nonprofits, George Mason University and schools.  The site is updated frequently with new events, organizations and resources added to the site. Questions and inquiries are welcome at STEMFairfax@fairfaxcounty.gov.  

STEM is a hot topic in Fairfax County. STEM skills are used in a diverse array of occupations, including business, trades, the arts, technology and health care, and require varying levels of education and certification.  One in five jobs now requires a high level of knowledge in any one STEM field. In Fairfax County, the greatest job growth continues to come largely from STEM-related professions.

 

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  • In September, there were almost 1000 visits to the STEM webpage – a 60% increase since the launch.

  • More than 70 STEM sites and programs are listed on the map and calendar opportunities run through May of 2019!

  • Fairfax County Afterschool Technology Centers counted 108,068 visits last year.

  • STEM jobs are growing at 1.7 times the rate of non-STEM jobs.

  • In Virginia 21.7 STEM jobs were available for every unemployed STEM worker Nationwide 3 million more STEM jobs are available than there are people to fill them.

This project is the result of a successful partnership between Fairfax County Government, Fairfax County Public Schools, George Mason University School of Engineering, Children’s Science Center, and Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab at Virginia Tech who all worked together to create this online resource.

This coalition is also working with local nonprofits to promote their STEM learning opportunities. In the Future, opportunities for business that support STEM learning and community partnerships may be added to the mix.

 

 

Many organizations listed on the STEM map offer opportunities to donate, volunteer, mentor or get involved in engaging youth in STEM. Search the map and find the right opportunity for you or your organization, and contact them directly.

Neighborhood and Community Services Afterschool Technology and Libraries programs are looking for volunteers to support their afterschool programs where youth are learning STEM and emerging technologies.

To partner with NCS,  contact Robert O’ Quinn, NCS Afterschool Technology Manager

 

 

 

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Office of Public Private Partnerships

Visit our website at www.fairfaxcountypartnerships.org
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