A Win for Allendale Students through STEM Coalition Challenge

Project Learning to Share in $1 Million Award

May 22, 2018
Allendale, SC – May 18, 2018 – A team representing Allendale, South Carolina is one of 8 groups from across the country named by US2020 as a winner of the 2018 STEM Coalition Challenge, a competition for communities across the country to bring hands-on STEM mentoring and maker-centered learning to underrepresented students. The winners were announced at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA. The Allendale Team will share in $1 million to implement bold strategies and build STEM learning partnerships in the rural community.
In 2017, the Allendale Team was formed by the South Carolina Promise Zone and the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) to help students become proficient in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). More than fifteen organizations and numerous supporters have joined the coalition, now poised to become a “STEM Force” in the community. Their goals involve connecting students with STEM-rich experiences related to careers. This Allendale Team supports the development of college and career-ready scholars as part of the Allendale Education Transformation.
“The Allendale School District is thrilled to be a part of the Allendale Team. As a STEM Coalition winner, we see this as an opportunity to involve local industry in our schools, to learn best practices and transform programs to serve Allendale’s children with meaningful STEM learning opportunities,” said Dr. Margaret Gilmore. Dr. Gilmore has been named as the Allendale County School District Interim Superintendent effective June 1, 2018.
The Allendale Team was originally selected from 92 applications across 35 states, representing more than 1,800 nonprofits, companies, school districts, and local government partners. The effort came about as part of the SRSCRO’s regional Nuclear Workforce Initiative that focuses on developing regional career pathways for STEM industries.
“The Promise Zone and the SRSCRO have facilitated the formation of a strong team, where the true winners will be the students in Allendale Schools!” said Sandra DeVoe Bland, Promise Zone Coordinator and loaned Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Executive to SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance.
The 8 winners in the US2020 STEM Challenge are:
  • The Promise Zone Coalition/ SRS Community Reuse Region - Allendale, SC
  • The Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership - Buffalo, NY
  • Project Exploration - Chicago, IL
  • The Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative - Cincinnati, OH
  • The Columbia Gorge STEM Hub - Dalles, ORī‚ˇThe Idaho STEM Action Center - Boise, ID
  • Remake Learning - Pittsburgh, PA
  • The DC STEM Network - Washington D.C.
Winners were selected based on a number of factors including: their potential for impact, approach to partnership building, creative engagement strategies, and sustainability planning.  All 8 winners will share the $1 million prize, which will provide financial support, consulting, and staff support for two years.
About Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization
The SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) is a non-profit regional group that supports job creation in a five-county region of South Carolina and Georgia. Those areas include Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties in South Carolina and Richmond (Augusta) and Columbia counties in Georgia. The group’s mission is to facilitate economic development opportunities associated with Savannah River Site technology, capabilities and missions and to serve as an informed, unified community voice for the two-state region. Learn more at www.srscro.org.
About SC Promise Zone
The South Carolina Promise Zone is located in the Lowcountry, and encompasses portions of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties. The SouthernCarolina Regional Development Alliance (SCA) leads the Promise Zone in partnership with more than 28 organizations within the Promise Zone and across the State. With 20 years of experience in the region, the SCA is well-positioned to promote collaboration among partners to revitalize the community and improve the quality of life for residents. The Promise Zone designation serves to catalyze an effort across the South Carolina Low Country to meet identified goals essential to increasing the quality of life and accelerating efforts to create comprehensive community revitalization in the region. Learn more at www.scpromisezone.org.
About US2020
US2020, a division of Citizen Schools is working to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented communities, especially girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the local level, US2020 has built a network of more than 350 organizations in 13 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. Learn more at www.us2020.org.
PHOTO:  On May 18, 2018, a team representing Allendale, SC was recognized at the Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo, California as one of 8 winners from across the country in the US2020 STEM Coalition Challenge, a competition to bring hands-on STEM learning to underrepresented students. Pictured L-R are: Emily McCann, CEO of Citizen Schools; Mindy Mets, SRSCRO; Mona Lisa Anderson, CATE Director Allendale Schools; Wilbur Cave, Allendale County ALIVE; Tom Kalil, Chief Innovation Officer Schmidt Futures; Eileen Yang, Senior Manager Genentech
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