Last week, School District 65 and Northwestern University announced plans to create a new partnership office with the goal of aligning university resources to the critical needs of administrators and teachers in District 65. This collaboration will foster student learning with an emphasis on STEM-related subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to work even more closely with our colleagues at Northwestern to integrate best practices in STEM teaching and learning,” said District 65 Superintendent Paul Goren “Through the new partnership office, we will have the unique ability to enhance both academic and social emotional growth for our youngest learners all the way to the graduate students studying at Northwestern.”

The new office will be staffed by a partnership coordinator who will be tasked with strengthening in-school and afterschool STEM learning for District 65 youth while also providing teaching, mentoring, and service learning opportunities for Northwestern students, faculty, and staff.

“Northwestern is proud to partner with District 65. This office will strengthen our entire community by connecting our faculty and leading research with the dedicated teachers, students, staff, and parents of District 65. Together, we will accelerate learning opportunities for Evanston’s youth that will lead them to success in high school, college, and beyond,” said Nim Chinniah, Executive Vice President of Northwestern University.

The coordinator will be based in the Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave., and will serve as a liaison between Northwestern University and the District 65 Curriculum and Instruction Department. This full-time position, to be funded by Northwestern University, is part of Northwestern’s Good Neighbors, Great University initiative.

Under Superintendent Goren’s leadership, District 65 has continued to expand STEM-related learning opportunities, especially for underrepresented and struggling students. The District is currently leading efforts in EvanSTEM, a collective impact project bringing together partners throughout the community, including Northwestern and Evanston Township High School, to increase engagement and student access to both in-school and out-of-school STEM activities. In 2015, EvanSTEM was selected as one of 27 communities to pilot the National STEM Ecosystem Community of Practice.

“EvanSTEM truly highlights the power of partnerships,” said Dr. Michael Kennedy, Research Professor and Director of Science in Society at Northwestern. “We are delighted to be working with both school districts, the City, and our amazing youth development agencies to ensure equal access to high quality STEM learning opportunities.”