What STEM Mentoring in Billings Can Look Like in the Next 5 Years

Yesterday, Billings Public Library Foundation Director Leslie Modrow and I introduced to the Billings Public Library Board and BillingsWorks partners an exciting opportunity to apply for a US2020 City Competition Grant to mobilize our community's stakeholders and resources to seed a STEM Mentoring program developed around the Library's Digital Learning Lab--the result of a prestigious grant from the MacArthur Foundation--and one of only 25 in the Nation.

This Digital Learning Lab caught the attention of the US2020 folks and they have repeatedly encouraged the Library Foundation to apply!

The Challenge: Round 1 Applications are due October 18!

In order to meet the deadline, this is what we need: your opinions and ideas!

In this first round, US2020 expects only our ideas of how we might stitch our community's resources together to form a STEM Mentoring program. We can hammer out the details later.

But in the meantime, please know that whatever you share here DOES NOT COMMIT YOU TO ANYTHING! We are merely brokering ideas!

And, we need those ideas - preferably - by the end of the day so that we can stitch them together and bring them back to you for round 2, should we be invited to apply!

(If you'd like to read up on the US2020 initiative, please visit: http://us2020.org/city-competition/)

And, of course, do feel free to call me directly with your thoughts or concerns:
Sara Hudson, Big Sky Economic Development, 869-8407 or
email me at hudson@bigskyeda.org!

And, finally, please do forward the link to the survey to your colleagues and acquaintances for their feedback as well!

* 1. The US2020 City Competition is an opportunity for our community to accelerate local STEM mentoring, economic development and educational equity. So, as we try to envision what STEM mentoring could look like in the next 5 years, let's explore together:

What do you think are the unique assets of the city?

* 2. What do you think are our educational and STEM workforce needs?

* 3. What do you think has already worked in STEM education and mentoring that merits expansion?

* 4. What hasn't worked, or has presented a barrier to success?

* 5. What local stakeholders do you think need to be engaged in order to significantly increase STEM mentorship?

* 6. If we are selected, the US2020 City Competition award will include cash, 3-5 service corps members, an online platform for mentee-mentor matching and consulting services.

What are some of your ideas about how we could combine US2020's resources with our community's resources to significantly increase STEM mentorship?

* 7. What elements of a STEM mentoring effort do you find most exciting?

* 8. Yesterday's discussion led Leslie and I to believe that you are interested in serving as a member of a "Guiding Coalition." A Guiding Coalition is the group of STEM stakeholders that conceptualize and support the submission of a Round 1 City Competition application. From this group, the Lead Applicant--Billings Public Library Foundation--is responsible for submitting the application and leading communication with US202.

AT THIS TIME, AS A GUIDING COALITION MEMBER, YOU ARE NOT COMMITTING TO ANYTHING - other than being what I like to call a "partner on purpose." Your desired role in the project may be as broad or narrow as you choose!

US2020 would like to know the following about you:

* 9. SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTNERS, Please answer the following:


* 11. THAT'S IT! YOU'RE DONE! But you're welcome to add a few parting words here, if you'd like (I'd love to quote you in our application!):