Teaching, Learning, Technology, & Science with the KCI

May 5, 2021

What do you get when you combine the foremost experts in professional learning programs for teachers with a company that provides dynamic internships and an initiative founded on improving STEM literacy? The answer is the Step UP Program. KCI and two other Bay Area nonprofits have partnered to create a unique collaborative designed to provide educators with opportunities to explore technologies such as artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, synthetic biology, and more. 

For 20 years, the Krause Center for Innovation (KCI) has brought together some of the most talented and experienced professionals in the educational and corporate spheres with the goal of “teaching teachers” and thereby improving education and opportunity in our communities. Ignited is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to connect underserved students to their future careers by collaborating with K-12 teachers. And Science from Scientists is an initiative that provides mentors for educators and inspires the next generation to identify and solve problems within the realm of STEM. 

This impressive trio has joined forces with the common goal of aligning the technology and science content important to Silicon Valley companies with the curricula taught in local middle and high schools. The end result is a win-win, and the heart of this program is our teachers. When corporations work directly with educators to provide industry-specific training and mentorship, the gap between operational needs and qualified future employees is bridged, resulting in the ultimate collaborative solution. 

However, this three-way collaboration is about more than just workforce solutions. It’s about recognizing the importance of our highly valued educators, and focusing on the crucial role they play in teaching the next generation. It’s about providing growth opportunities for our educators and dedicating resources to enriching teacher knowledge, along with providing space to build support communities and celebrate the rich tapestry that is education. Most importantly, it’s about serving a need in our community, and being an integral part of what the future holds. 

For more information to learn more about KCI’s Step UP Program, click here or contact Justin Sewell at jsewell@krauseinnovationcenter.org

Author

  • Justin Sewell has joined KCI as the Director of Partnerships & Programs. He graduated from Salisbury University with a B.S. degree in Molecular Biology and he received an M.S. degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. After working in a DNA diagnostics laboratory, Justin transitioned to education. He student taught in Vermont and then spent the majority of his teaching career in Baltimore County where he taught Chemistry and Biology and held a department chair position at two high schools. He brought his passion for technology, science, and education to the Silicon Valley Education Foundation where he was responsible for a variety of projects including the development of a middle school computer science course, observing and writing an ethnographic study on 7th grade math edtech products, and working with other nonprofits, companies, districts, and government offices to improve STEM education in the Bay Area.