Our Portfolio

At STEM Next we want all young people to access great science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning, in and out of school.

A robust STEM workforce is critical to addressing the country’s and world’s pressing challenges and keeping our economy strong. And with STEM skills, our young people can choose their path to rewarding and successful careers, where skills are in great demand, earnings are high, and unemployment is low. Of course, not everyone will become a STEM professional. But STEM skills will help all kids become critical thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and rational decision makers, preparing them to be the successful leaders, parents, and citizens of tomorrow.

STEM Next Opportunity Fund is the nation’s leader in incubating, amplifying, and scaling effective STEM learning systems in and out of school. With venture investment, we know we can scale our work to reach millions of additional high-need children.

Explore our portfolio of current and past investments below. Investors are invited to build on existing initiatives to accelerate impact, or design your own effort to advance proven collaboration, knowledge building, and scale.

Scaling up 32 states and 54 communities.
STEM Next Opportunity Fund partners with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to systemically seed and grow 32 statewide afterschool networks that seek funding and policy advances to support out-of-school STEM programs, professional development, and curriculum. STEM Next Opportunity Fund is a co-founder of the national STEM Learning Ecosystem Initiative. The initiative includes 54 communities and regions across the country working collaboratively through cross-sector partnerships to increase STEM learning in and out of school and create pathways to STEM careers. Also, STEM Next has worked with the leadership of the Every Hour Counts urban intermediaries to incorporate STEM learning in afterschool and summer linked to the Next Generation Science Standards and leveraging social-emotional learning strategies.

Creating powerful research and tools.
Noyce/STEM Next Opportunity Fund has made sustained research investments to better understand what constitutes high-quality informal STEM education. These investments were incorporated into a seminal 2015 National Academy of Sciences Board of Science Education report that noted that out-of-school STEM programs are well-suited to building interest in STEM. The report showed that STEM programs also helped young people identity as a STEM learner. These findings reinforce research cited in the President’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology in its 2010 report to the President, also funded by Noyce.

STEM Next Opportunity Fund supports and disseminates new ground-breaking research. With an innovative research design, a team from the PEAR Institute at Harvard University and McLean Hospital and IMMAP: Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis & Policy at Texas Tech University surveyed nearly 1,600 youth and their program leaders in 160 programs across 11 states. They collected and analyzed data from observations of programs, student self-assessment and teacher/facilitator questionnaires to create a fascinating new look into STEM in afterschool.

Reaching 18 million youth.
STEM Next Opportunity Fund is forging the first-ever national partnership among the leading youth-serving organizations (4H, YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, Girls Inc.), focused on embedding high-quality STEM programming into the most under-served and unserved communities. With increased capacity and collective vision and strategy, these partners effectively provide quality STEM programming infused with positive youth development principles and strategies.

STEM Next is engaging learners everywhere by:

  • Boys & Girls Club of America

    For more than a century, Boys & Girls Clubs have helped put young people on the path to great futures. Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe space where young people build the skills and relationships needed to reach their full potential.
    Read more
  • YMCA

    The Y is a leading nonprofit organization for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. With a focus on nurturing the potential of every child and teen, improving the nation’s health and well-being and providing opportunities to give back and support neighbors, the Y enables youth, adults, families and communities to be healthy, confident, connected and secure. The Y engages 9 million youth and 13 million adults each year in the U.S.
    Read more
  • ExpandEd Schools

    ExpandED Schools is a nonprofit dedicated to its mission of closing the learning gap by increasing access to enriched education experiences. ExpandED Schools works on the ground to support schools, and also works with partners of all kinds to change public policy and build sustainable public funding to expand learning opportunities across the nation.
    Read more
  • 2015 Afterschool STEM Summit

    Hosted by the Noyce Foundation and Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the inaugural Afterschool STEM Summit brought together leaders from STEM industries, higher education and afterschool organizations, policymakers and philanthropists from all 50 states with a focus on nurturing existing public-private partnerships, and generating new ones. Participants explored new and creative solutions to the challenge 
of expanding afterschool STEM learning for all young people. Speakers included Dr. Jo Handelsman, Associate Director of Science, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Dr. John King, Acting Secretary of Education; Victor Cruz, NY Giants; Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (NH); Rep. Joaquin Castro (TX-20); Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-5); Rep. Christopher Gibson (NY-19); Elaina Watley, Victor Cruz Foundation; Jim Gordon, Group Vice President of Corporate Brand and Reputation, Time Warner Cable; Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations, Google; Diana Oo, Senior Director of Global Public Policy, Comcast NBCUniversal; Kevin Washington, CEO and President of YMCA of the USA; Reginald McGregor, Manager, Engineering Employee Development, Research & Technology Strategy at Rolls-Royce Corporation; Nona Carroll, Program Director, Maryland Business Roundtable for Education; Colleen McCreary, Managing Director, CCKPartners; State Sen. Adam Morfeld (NE); and Jodi Grant, Executive Director, Afterschool Alliance.
    Read more
  • The Power of Explanation: Reframing STEM and Informal Learning

    This multimedia MessageMemo is directed toward leaders and advocates to provide them with practical messages and tools for making the STEM education case, especially for out-of-school time STEM learning. The MessageMemo creates an evidentiary base to identify the most effective ways of communicating about STEM education. The strategies detailed here have been tested for their ability to improve and deepen public understanding about STEM learning in both informal and formal education contexts and increase support for key reforms in this domain. The memo summarizes an extensive body of empirical research that shows the power of a robust explanatory communication strategy in deepening public understanding about STEM in both informal and formal contexts. This research was conducted by the FrameWorks Institute and sponsored by the Noyce Foundation.
    Read more
  • Science Friday

    Covering the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies, Science Friday is the source for entertaining and educational stories about science, technology, and other cool stuff. For 25 years, Science Friday has introduced topscientists to public radio listeners, and reminded them how much fun it is to learn something new. They produce award-winning digital videos, original web articles, and educational resources for teachers and informal educators on ScienceFriday.com. All of their work is independently produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the public’s access to science and scientific information.
    Read more