The Donald McKinney Center for STEM Education


Monthly Newsletter

March 2023



NEWS From the McKinney Center

Website and Social Media Campaign Launch

The Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective (PSEC) has launched it's new website,, and a social media campaign.

The contemporary and dynamic campaign to launch our new brand and digital platforms is called “Yeah, that’s STEM!” Our goal is to expand awareness for this important initiative and provide opportunities for under-represented communities to have agency in sustainable careers and in important work that dominates our future.

For more information on the media campaign, contact Communications Manager, Heather Conboy

The Ecosystem has a

New Workgroup!

The Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem welcomes its new Workgroup: STEM Teacher Talent Development and its Co-chairs, Greer Richardson and  Stacy Olitsky. The goal of this Workgroup is to strengthen the STEM teacher pipeline and increase the number of diverse STEM educators serving Philadelphia students. 

The Workgroup will address two recommendations from the City of Philadelphia’s July 2022 report, Citywide Strategy for Diverse and High-Quality Teachers. It will a) articulate pathways to teaching and b) facilitate early exposure to teaching for two high priority groups - high school and college students. This is work is possible through a Pennsylvania Department of Education “A2E STEM-CS” grant.

For more information, please contact

Greer Richardson.


PSSE March Webinars

Thursday, March 9, 4-5 PM:

Department of Defense (DoD) Investments in STEM Education and Career Pathways and Resources

With issues of national security increasingly being waged through science and technology, the DoD has great interest in all levels of STEM education and STEM career pathways. Julie Stolzer, TIES Director of Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, and Toby Bothel, TIES Director, Engineering, Design and Fabrication will explain the “why” behind the DoD’s investments in STEM, and describe the DoD’s STEM priorities and goals - including in Pennsylvania. Register HERE.

Thursday, March 23, 8:30-9:30 AM:

Connecting and Engaging Ecosystems Series: Supporting Teachers in Transforming Learning Environments

PSSE will feature two Ecosystems that are supporting teachers in creating more authentic and career-aligned learning environments for their students.

ABC CREATE (representing the Allegheny-Kiski Valley) will share how they are moving hundreds of tech-hesitant elementary educators toward becoming inspired teachers and learners with their CS/STEAM/Robotics Professional Development Model. And the Lancaster County STEM Alliance will showcase their strategy for connecting business and education through their Adopt a Middle School and Teachers as Temporary Workers Programs. Register HERE.

Student Advisory Council Application Now Open

The Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective (PSEC) invites current 9th to 11th grade Philadelphia high school students to apply to the Collective's Student Advisory Council (SAC). Students may come from any Philadelphia public, parochial, charter, private, or home school.

We expect the SAC to have the twelve members that will help guide strategies and provide feedback on their effectiveness for the beneficiaries of the Collective. The SAC will be a diverse group of students representative of the Philadelphia region who champion our goal to increase the number of Black, Latinx and female Philadelphians entering STEM careers by 2030.

Student participation is so important that two students from the council will be part of the Collective's Steering Committee. The Collective's 10-year goal is to have 100% of STEM careers in Philadelphia be demographically proportional to the population of working-age Philadelphians. Youth voice is crucial for the success of this initiative, and we invite students to apply and be part of our success.

To apply, go HERE, Application deadline is May 5th, 2023. For more information, contact Betsy Payne.

Johnson Matthey STEM Fellows Program

The Johnson Matthey STEM Teaching Fellows Program is an intensive short-term professional development series designed for those seeking to grow and deepen the STEM literacy of their learners. This program is designed for statewide out-of-school time/informal educators who work with 6th-12th grade students. Participants will engage with hands-on lessons, complete a capstone project, and receive a stipend to purchase program materials. The Fellows program will be held virtually on Wednesday mornings from 9:30-11:30am. from mid-March through May 2023. Applications are due on Wednesday, March 8.


Apply HERE and/or contact Jazmyn James for additional details or information.

Remake Learning

Days Festival

Looking for Hosts in the Greater Philly area!

There is still time to be a host for this year's this year’s Remake Learning Days (RLD) festival. RLD is an innovative learning festival for students, families, and educators! Event hosts facilitate hands-on events —virtually AND at libraries, schools, museums, community centers and more. This year's events for Southeastern PA occur from May 4 – 23

Hosting an event is easy! You can use an existing event or design a new one. Once you register the event, we will promote it on the RLD website.

For more information, contact Kammas Kersch of the PA SEED STEM Ecosystem.

Regional Industries and STEM Education

The McKinney Center, in collaboration with the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective, has assembled a group of industries interested in partnerships between Regional Industries and STEM Education (RISE). 

This group is beginning to design a Regional Industry Partner Directory, which will feature local industries that offer resources and opportunities to STEM programs. While we are working on this project, we will suspend our regular monthly meetings. However, if If you would like to be part of this planning group, please email Nancy Peter.


Seeking Upenn Work-Study Student: STEM Workforce Development

The McKinney Center is seeking a STEM

Workforce Development Project Assistant for the 2022-2023 academic year (Job Requisition #JR00033021). This student will assist with STEM workforce development, social media, marketing as well as other related projects. Students must attend The University of Pennsylvania and be work-study eligible. Please send a cover letter and resume to Barbara Cousar, PEFs Workforce Development Manager.


STEM Philly Presenter Registration

Explore STEM Philly (ESP) is an enrichment STEM program, whose goal is to expand access to STEM career awareness among underserved populations. Through ESP, PEF staff recruit, train, and schedule STEM professionals to provide 1-hour (live or virtual) presentations in Philadelphia middle and high schools. In 2023, we hope to place presenters in 300 classrooms! Interested volunteers can sign up via this LINK.

For questions, please contact Barbara Cousar.


STEM Philly Teacher Registration

Would your students like to explore STEM careers and career pathways? Through Explore STEM Philly (ESP), PEF matches Philadelphia middle and high school classrooms with professionals who are enthusiastic about education. These individuals represent science, mathematics, engineering, and other STEM fields; and their interactive presentations (live or virtual) encourage students to consider pursuing a STEM vocation. To register your class for the program, use this LINK.

For questions, please contact Barbara Cousar.

Visit the McKinney Center for STEM Education Page






New Opportunities

Previous Opportunities





In Memory of Donald McKinney

Donald McKinney was a beloved chemistry teacher, who founded the Philadelphia Education Fund’s Math and Science Coalition. In recognition of his commitment to and passion for STEM Education, the Philadelphia Education Fund has organized its STEM Initiatives within the Donald McKinney Center for STEM Education.

For additional information,

please contact Nancy Peter.

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