Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Oregon.gov Homepage

Oregon Regional STEM Hub Network

 

Oregon’s Regional STEM Hub Network was formally established in 2015 with the passage of House Bill 3072, with the aim of improving student outcomes in STEM education, increasing participation in STEM and CTE majors, and increasing the number of Oregon youth who enter high-wage, high-demand STEM and CTE professions. The Network has grown to 13 Regional STEM Hubs that now cover all counties in Oregon and is unique in that it is a statewide ecosystem that embraces the notion that education is a collective responsibility and that learning takes place throughout one’s life in all manner of settings and interactions. STEM Hubs empower their communities to build inclusive, sustainable, innovation-based experiences, creating opportunities for all students to fully contribute to an increasingly complex global society while addressing high-demand, competitive workforce needs through piloting programs, establishing best practices, and scaling successful approaches across the state.

Oregon STEM

While funding from the State of Oregon partially supports the work of the Network, Oregon’s STEM Hubs are independent entities with which the Oregon Department of Education partners on a number of projects. Each Hub has its own regional partners, and together, they work closely with and are supported by Oregon STEM, a 501(c)(3) organization that works in close collaboration with the STEM Hub Network to promote STEM equity and prepare the next generation of leaders and innovators.

International STEM Learning Ecosystem

Oregon is one of the first partners of the STEM Learning Ecosystems, a global community of practice comprised of local, regional and state STEM Learning Ecosystems from across the world. Ecosystems encompass preK-16 schools; community-based organizations, such as after-school and summer programs; institutions of higher education; STEM-expert organizations, such as science centers, museums, corporations, intermediary and non-profit organizations and professional associations; businesses; funders; and informal experiences at home and in a variety of environments. Find more information on STEM ecosystems here.

2023-25 STEM Innovation Grants

Project: Career Connected Learning
Lead Hub(s): Lane STEM Hub, Columbia Gorge STEM Hub
Participating Hubs: Central Oregon STEM Hub, Greater Oregon STEM Hub, Frontier STEM Hub, Southern Oregon STEAM Hub, Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, Northwest STEM Hub, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Portland Metro STEM Partnership, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $518,968.65
Project Summary: The Career Connected Learning project establishes teacher externships that allow exploration of a career aligned with subject area, demonstrating the application of industry standards to classroom content. Examples include having a chemistry teacher working for a metal paint or ice cream company, or a math teacher having a 5-day exploratory experience with a technology, finance, or manufacturing company.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Teachers will deepen and expand understanding of the relevance of their content areas to careers
  • Teachers will use the knowledge gained to make curriculum more relevant, skills-based, and aligned to industry standards
  • Student engagement in Career Connected Learning will increase in their core and elective classes
  • Student outcomes will improve in courses that expose students to a variety of careers, as research shows that student achievement improves when learning is seen as relevant

 

 
 

Project: Computer Science and Digital Literacy
Lead Hub(s): Lane STEM Hub and Northwest STEM Hub
Participating Hubs: Central Oregon STEM Hub, Columbia Gorge STEM Hub, Frontier STEM Hub, Lane STEM, Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Northwest STEM Hub, Portland Metro STEM Partnership, South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $775,684.35
Project Summary: This collaboration increases equity and access to computer science (CS) and digital literacy (DL) as a statewide network, through identification of Hub communities that have overlapping needs and goals. The project allows Hubs to deliver student experiences, expand professional development to teachers, and contribute to a stronger system and network around CS.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Identification of Hub communities with overlapping needs and goals in CS and DL
  • Increased access to CS and DL in school districts throughout the state
  • Hands-on experiences in CS and DL for students
  • Increased professional development for educators, leading to expanded course and content options for students
  • Increased dual credit opportunities
  • Integration of Math and CS, including information and data science
  • Increased integration of CS by elementary and middle school teachers
  • Increased post-secondary success, as student success in STEM and Computer fields improves with access
  • District adoption and implementation of K12 CS standards, including identification of pathways, technology needs, leadership support, and community partnerships
  • Centralized CS opportunities that are not district- or funding-dependent
  • Establishment of a CS/DL community of practice in rural regions with limited previous investments
  • Best practices resource document for scaling and replication in rural areas with limited CS programs

 

 
 

Project: Design Thinking for STEM Equity Lead Hub(s): South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership
Participating Hubs: Central Oregon STEM Hub, East Metro STEAM Partnership, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Portland Metro STEM Partnership
Funding: $195,741
Project Summary: This project uses Design Thinking to identify the root causes of low student engagement and achievement in STEM disciplines and begins to address these causes according to community needs. It is student-centered, and by design demands that those in power engage with users to explore the root causes of challenges to identify and execute locally actionable solutions. For example, if one is trying to problem-solve for why Latino males are under-represented in high school STEM electives, then high school-aged Latino males are necessarily at the center of the human-centered design process. Project partners engage with a nationally renowned human-centered design coach to lead the work, in partnership with local experts in STEM equity and Next Generation Science Standards implementation.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Development of two cohorts of nine school-based teams of principals and teachers to use
  • Design Thinking as a process to drive a shift in their school’s culture of teaching and learning in STEM
  • Broader adoption of the experiential Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) framework for teaching and learning science in participating districts
  • Implementation of best practices in teaching to address other challenges, such as anti-racist STEM instruction and equitable science teaching
  • Access to ongoing coaching support for all participants to allow for development and testing of prototype strategies
  • Increased student participation in STEM content, leading to increases in post-secondary STEM career and course achievement

 

 
 

Project: Developing Equity-based Math Leadership for K-8 Educators
Lead Hub(s): Portland Metro STEM Partnership
Participating Hubs: East Metro STEAM Partnership, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $618,924 (Federal Title II Funds)
Project Summary: This project connects K-8 master educators with deep classroom experience and a commitment to equity as a professional development team. It also convenes an Equity Advisory Group made up Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBTQ+) community members who work with the professional development team to set the vision and provide feedback throughout the professional development process. The professional development team is supported with current research on equitable practices as they engage in critical conversations around their own teaching practices. From this perspective and with an understanding of the needs of colleagues and students, the professional development team designs the experiences, which include reviewing and updating Design Principles, establishing learning goals, and identifying success criteria, as well as developing the course content.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Sustainable, equity-focused professional development, as members of the development team often become the lead facilitators
  • Increased number of teacher leaders in delivering equity-centered math leadership
  • Increased engagement by historically underserved students in mathematics
  • Increased student achievement in mathematics for Oregon students


 

 
 


Project: Early learning STE(A)M - Support to Parents, Child Care Provides and Pre-School Educators
Lead Hub(s): Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Participating Hubs: Central Oregon STEM Hub, Columbia Gorge STEM Hub, East Metro STEAM Partnership, Frontier STEM Hub, Greater Oregon STEM Hub, Lane STEM Hub, Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, Northwest STEM Hub, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Portland Metro STEM Partnership, Southern Oregon STEAM Hub
Funding: $464,996.54
Project Summary: This project connects early learning partners, including Tribes, to Hubs to make family and educator STE(A)M kits available in underserved communities. Contents of kits reflect the needs, traditions and cultures of local communities. Resources are being produced in multiple languages reflecting the populations of the regions. Associated with these kits will be a variety of support tools including activity cards, videos and classes for both parents and early childhood educators.
Expected Outcomes:
  • STEAM Kits focused on early childhood and local cultures available for check-out throughout participating regions
  • Development of a network among the Hubs through which new participants in this work may learn from experienced Hubs
  • Increased student interest in STEAM fields throughout K-12 and post-secondary for students who were involved in this work at a young age

 

 
 

Project: Establishing a STEM School Designation Process for K-8 High-Need Schools
Lead Hub(s): Portland Metro STEM Partnership
Participating Hubs: Central Oregon STEM Hub, East Metro STEAM Partnership, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, South Metro-Salem Partnership, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $964,476.20
Project Summary: This project establishes a STEM School Designation process that will provide the mechanism, resources, and necessary support to schools interested in focusing on STEM. Many of Oregon’s administrators and classroom educators already understand the power of STEM education and have created pockets of STEM excellence in their classrooms and schools. To ensure that these efforts reach beyond one administrator or educator, cultivation of a school-wide STEM culture is necessary. The grant allows for, among other things, peer-learning, coaching support, technical assistance, and mini-grants to schools for STEM supplies and equipment.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Development of a collection of resources aligned to the planning process, including templates, tools, surveys, examples, and samples for existing STEAM schools
  • Increased opportunities for all education professionals to participate in high-impact professional development
  • Support for job-embedded, peer-learning during the school year
  • Increased number of public Oregon schools that earn the STEM School designation
  • Increased educator and student understanding of the value of STEM and connections of STEM to aspects of life


 

 
 

Project: High School Science for All AKA Patterns Science
Lead Hub(s): Portland Metro STEM Partnership
Participating Hubs: South Metro-Salem Partnership, Lane STEM Hub
Funding: $394,567
Project Summary: High School Science for All is a year-long, vertically articulated course curriculum that was developed and refined in the greater Portland Metro area for three high school science courses - Physics, Chemistry, and Biology. All courses include embedded engineering projects, applied math elements, technology for data collection/analysis and emerging Career Connected Learning components. High School Science for All extends the disproportionate financial and intellectual resources (e.g. Teacher on Special Assignment, instructional specialist positions, etc.) of the largest K-12 school districts in the Portland Metro area to districts around the state, as these resources do not exist in many of the smaller districts for financial reasons. From a separate grant (Oregon Mathways Initiative), the High School Science for All work is also being extended to the Core Two years of high school mathematics.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Increased access to the High School Science for All science articulation model and curricula for rural and small school districts statewide.
  • Increased student engagement, as High School Science for All is a key equity driver for high school science outcomes
  • Increased student achievement in high school science


 

 
 

Project: Industry-connected classroom learning (formerly Oregon Connections)
Lead Hub(s): South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership
Participating Hubs: Greater Oregon STEM Hub, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Southern Oregon STEAM Hub, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $110,136.60
Project Summary: This project uses technological solutions to connect students and educators to career professionals in a variety of different fields. The project will be implemented in a variety of learning environments, in and out of school, to address regional and local needs. All participating regions will support the integration of industry-connected classroom learning opportunities to enhance the existing “STEM Bites” effort. “STEM Bites” is an elementary-focused project of the Regional STEM Hub Network that gives teachers access to simple, hands-on STEM experiments and projects.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Centralized staff person to aid in efficiency of the project and products
  • Suite of recommendations for industry connections to enhance the experience for students and teachers
  • Increased teacher expertise in building connections with industry partners
  • Increased teacher expertise in delivering career-connected content to students
  • Increased student awareness of the connection between STEM fields and careers
  • Increased student engagement and participation in STEM fields in the future

 

 
 

Project: Oregon Youth Voice in Action in STEM
Lead Hub(s): Frontier STEM Hub, Columbia Gorge STEM Hub, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Participating Hubs: East Metro STEAM Partnership, Greater Oregon STEM Hub, Northwest STEM Hub, Southern Oregon STEAM Hub, Central Oregon STEM Hub
Funding: $528,696
Project Summary: Participating hubs are collaborating in the implementation of Youth Voice and Action in STEM Leadership programs, expanding the former Chief Science Officers (CSO) structure offered in years past. This leadership opportunity empowers middle and high school students to serve as STEM ambassadors in their schools and communities. Each Hub leads its own cabinet of all of the student STEM leaders in the region. Leaders participate in several annual events, such as a summer leadership training institute, two cabinet meetings, and a regional spring symposium.
Expected Outcomes:
  • High quality leadership training for student STEM leaders
  • Guidance and support by student STEM leaders for Oregon STEM Leader Clubs at participating schools, leading to greater direct student involvement in STEM education and careers
  • Increased access to STEM professionals through monthly industry chats and dinners with local STEM professionals
  • Increased student participation in and completion of post-secondary STEM degrees and STEM careers

 

 
 

Project: Regional Networks for STEM Equity
Lead Hub(s): East Metro STEAM Partnership
Participating Hubs: Portland Metro STEM Partnership
Funding: $75,600
Project Summary: This project uses an Action Learning Teams approach to solving problems through action and reflection. Within an Action Learning Team, individuals learn with and from each other by sharing their expertise and knowledge, while reflecting on their own experiences. Action Learning Teams are being used in this project to address STEM education problems of practice, such as maximizing the use of technology in STEM teaching and learning, bridging formal and informal STEM learning experiences, promoting transformative STEM leadership for school/district administrators and community-based program directors, addressing inequities and disparities in STEM education, and increasing time on elementary science through STEM integration.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Increased time spent on science in elementary schools
  • Increased educator comfort with delivering science and STEM content to diverse groups of students
  • Increased access to technology for students and educators
  • Increased achievement opportunities in STEM fields for students

 

 
 

Project: The Rural STEAM Leadership Network
Lead Hub(s): Central Oregon STEM Hub
Participating Hubs: Frontier STEM Hub, Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, Northwest STEM Hub, Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Southern Oregon STEAM Hub, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $520,800
Project Summary: The Rural STEAM Leadership Network connects educators in rural and remote communities across the state to each other, STEAM education resources, professional development, funding opportunities, and leadership opportunities. The network provides STEAM-focused learning and planning opportunities for administrators from different schools and districts who often serve in several roles, such as superintendent, principal, teacher, and coach. This multi-faceted job can limit the ability of rural administrators to connect with others for extended time on STEAM. The project also increases the offerings of STEAM-focused professional development for teachers, which is being delivered by rural educators for other educators in their regions and beyond. Learning opportunities for both educators and students include virtual field trips, synchronous and asynchronous learning, Place-Based Learning, and showcasing of rural STEAM-related innovations.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Establishment of a Rural STEAM Leadership Network that connects educators and administrators in rural and remote communities across the state
  • Improved ability of rural teachers and rural administrators to offer relevant, integrated STEAM content to students
  • Increased number of rural students entering STEM careers and/or post-secondary STEM majors
  • Network of home-grown, regional Learning Facilitators within rural regions of STEM Hubs
  • Increased sustainability of STEAM programming through shared resources, professional development, funding opportunities, and leadership opportunities

 

 
 

Project: STEM Beyond School
Lead Hub(s): Portland Metro STEM Partnership
Participating Hubs: Central Oregon STEM Hub, Columbia Gorge STEM Hub, Lane STEM Hub, Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $545,062.65 (total funding $414,736 to OSUE and $130,326 to participating STEM Hubs)
Project Summary: Reduced educator capacity and staff losses during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that more educators need support in responding to emerging youth STEAM needs. The STEM Beyond School approach for this biennium builds out-of-school time STEAM capacity at both the state and local levels. This serves a critical need for youth that were most impacted by the pandemic, allowing them to engage in project-based STEAM learning that is student-centered and culturally- and community-based.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Expansion of a Community of Practice Network throughout the participating districts and regions
  • Development and delivery of teacher Professional Development on STEAM education and equity-centered teaching
  • Increased capacity of educators to provide high-impact, inclusive and culturally responsive STEM explorations for youth
  • Increased out-of-school time educator comfort in delivering high quality STEAM experiences to underserved students
  • Increased student engagement with and achievement in STEM courses and careers


Project: STEM Beyond School Grant – Oregon State University Extension
Lead: Oregon State University Extension Service
Funding: $414,736
Project Summary: These funds are being used to train out-of-school educators in the integration of STEAM in out-of-school-time education opportunities.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Cadre of out-of-school-time educators trained in and implementing STEAM in out-of-school program


 

 
 

STEM Leaders in Elementary Schools
Lead Hub(s): Greater Oregon STEM Hub
Participating Hubs: Columbia Gorge STEM Hub, Frontier STEM Hub, Portland Metro STEM Partnership, Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub
Funding: $618,871.05 ($255,956.40 from Oregon State funds, $362,914.65 from Federal Title II Funds)
Project Summary:
This project focuses on best practices to engage directly with elementary educators to provide high-quality instructional practice, innovative STEAM teaching techniques, and increased confidence in a teacher’s ability to provide STEAM learning experiences in their classrooms. Collaborative workshops with administrators and classroom educators lead to an increased understanding of the value of STEAM and co-creation of STEAM goals and school- and district-wide STEAM initiatives.
Expected Outcomes:
  • Creation of a sustainable network of STEAM teacher leaders across Oregon
  • Integration of STEAM learning experiences into content areas to authentically engage students in problem solving, inquiry, and project-based learning skills
  • Increased alignment of Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, and STEAM learning units
  • Improved educator understanding of STEAM teaching/learning principles to increase educator confidence and comfort level when implementing STEAM in classroom and school-wide practices
  • Increased access to STEAM equipment and resources through Regional STEM Hub Lending Libraries
  • STEAM content units published on the open-source Oregon Open Learning Hub
  • System change and school transformation through recognition of STEAM Champions