From Meeting to Impact: How One Foundation’s Investment of $25,000 Spurred Large-Scale Collaboration
In 2012, ExpandED Schools and the Kelley Collaborative approached The Pinkerton Foundation for funding to launch a NYC STEM Education Network. Building on the work of a Noyce Foundation-supported group in New York City called the Science Alliance, the newly-established Network brought together STEM educators and leaders from a range of professional development organizations for after-school and summer STEM providers. Its original intent was to better understand the STEM professional development available for out-of-school time staff and to develop a model to deliver effective STEM training to more after-school and summer programs at community-based organizations.
Together, the Network members would provide a landscape of STEM professional development; share strategies, determine gaps and identify best practices; and ultimately, create an improved model for after-school STEM throughout the city. The Pinkerton Foundation challenged the organizations to take one additional step: include at least one collaborative project that delivered on-the-ground STEM programming to a substantial number of disadvantaged young people. For its part, the Foundation offered a one-year $25,000 grant to help get the Network underway.