Institute for Collaboration works to strengthen STEM education

STEM Students

The Institute for Collaboration of Aurora University is serving as the convener to bring the Aurora East, Aurora West, Indian Prairie and Oswego school districts together with government, non-profit and corporate partners to strengthen STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education particularly for young children. Improving STEM education has been identified as a national need, and our partners also recognize the importance of STEM education for our local communities.  In particular, businesses and corporations seeking employees with expertise in these fields are not finding candidates within our region – and sometimes not within the United States.

Through the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School, the Institute will implement programs that will educate children, pre-service and practicing teachers, and university faculty in STEM content and applications.  The idea is to develop an educational program that will make STEM “come to life” for children, making it more likely for them to pursue STEM-related careers.

The Institute for Collaboration has raised $7 million to support the creation of the school. Fiscal partners include Aurora University, Cabot Microelectronics, Caterpillar Foundation, Commonwealth Edison, Dart Foundation, Dunham Fund, Exelon Foundation, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Nicor Gas, Tellabs, V V F and Waste Management.  The Institute is very appreciative for the support of the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School.  Fund-raising efforts are ongoing with a goal of securing $5 million in additional contributions for the construction of the school.