Our Approach

STEM Next is a venture philanthropy fund playing a critical role in bringing in- and out-of-school STEM learning opportunities to millions of children and closing the gender gap in STEM careers. STEM Next Opportunity Fund is a national leader, strategic guide, policy advocate, and investor that is bringing about a transformative expansion of high-quality and inclusive STEM learning opportunities. By investing early in the life of our children, we are transforming their lives and preparing them for the 21st century economy.

To support this national effort, the STEM Next Opportunity Fund will focus on four main areas of core value for its investors:

 

Strategic Grantmaking

As a venture philanthropy fund, STEM Next Opportunity Fund is identifying, managing, and evaluating groundbreaking ideas and organizations.  As highly experienced grantmakers, we support and motivate our grantees to achieve high-impact goals. We are putting Noyce’s expertise to work for a group of investors who see the great untapped and greatly undervalued opportunities in out-of- school and afterschool programs.

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Driving Scale and Targeting Need

The Fund will build and support networks that can scale ideas and opportunities quickly. Our investments will help national and state organizations build state-of-art infrastructure, and position grantees for additional investments that can advance and spread STEM learning opportunities. Our years of experience in the field bring a deep knowledge of context and need, enabling the Fund to scale ideas and also target investments to high-need demographics and places.

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Advancing Policy Change

Bringing STEM learning to all young people cannot be accomplished by philanthropy alone. Federal, state, and local funding for afterschool STEM programming will be essential. STEM Next Opportunity Fund has unique expertise, established partners, and strategically placed policy fellows to advise, educate, and advocate for public investment.

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Prioritizing Family Engagement

Across all ventures, STEM Next Opportunity Fund will prioritize a focus on culturally responsive family engagement. The research is clear: families are vital to the success of youth in STEM, especially for girls and underrepresented youth of color. Yet family engagement continues to remain massively underutilized as a lever to promote youth interest and persistence in STEM.  STEM Next will create a paradigm shift in the field by placing families at the center of STEM programs and well-coordinated STEM ecosystems.

Learn about the project

 

Read more about our model and our history.