Omaha’s STEM Ecosystem Named to National Top 10 List


May 27th, 2016

In 2012, the University of Nebraska at Omaha formally established Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM learning as one of five key campus priorities. Now the Omaha citywide STEM Ecosystem, with UNO as a member, has been chosen as one of 10 groups to join the national STEM Learning Ecosystem Initiative.

Omaha, NE – The Omaha citywide STEM Ecosystem is composed of about 30 organizations across the city. It’s co-conducted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha and The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Neal Grandgenett is the Haddix Community Chair of STEM Education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He says the organizations work hard to excite kids early on in their lives about STEM careers.

“There are all these different things going on together,” Grandgenett said. “There are people doing after school programs teachers trying to teach STEM concepts during the day, university faculty trying to help train the workforce. Including teachers on how to do that effectively and to work in some of those high level jobs that we’re all striving to keep in our city.”

Grandgenett said the Omaha citywide STEM Ecosystem tries to combine both formal education, like universities and schools with informal education, like museums, after school programs and the Zoo. The goal is to educate Omaha’s youth about STEM careers but Grandgenett says it helps aid in the fight against brain-drain. Basically as kids come of age, they are created relationship and connections with other people from Omaha and Nebraska.

“It really is all about the educational pathways and working together to keep some really bright minds in the city and really keep some people moving along with their educational process.”

The Omaha Citywide STEM ecosystem is only a few years old. But Grandgenett says Omaha is the ideal place for a partnership like this to flourish, mostly because of the collaborative spirit of the people here.

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