US2020 City Competition
US2020 is a new organization formed through a partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders inthe STEM field. The long-term goal of the initiative is to mobilize 1 million STEM mentors annually by the year 2020, creating millions of moments of discovery – those life changing events when children launch rockets, build robots, write a computer program, or look into the farthest reaches of the universe. US2020 relies on a committed and growing community of public, private, non-profit and individual partners.
The nationwide program has launched in seven cities across the US. The Research Triangle Park was selected as one of these locations because of their unique relationship with corporations, educational institutions and non-profit partners. As part of the grand prize winnings, RTP will be awarded over $300,000 in cash and prizes to put towards the first year efforts. After the first year, support will come from the help of corporate donors and sponsors within the Triangle region.
About The Research Triangle Park Initiative
The Research Triangle Foundation (RTF) is the go-to leader in RTP for unifying and collaborating Park companies under mutually beneficial initiatives that support the growth, technology, and scientific innovation for which RTP is known worldwide. RTF will utilize its contacts and connections to top executives at global RTP companies to communicate and organize the need for engagement in training the next generation of local STEM employees in the Triangle by encouraging and incentivizing mentorship in K-12 STEM education and challenging them to adopt the 20/20/20 goals. Many Park companies already embrace and support STEM education in their own ways, however we believe that RTF's position will help bring even actively engaged companies to the next level of commitment.
RTF's non-profit partners have been working deeply and extensively across our region to support, deliver, and enhance STEM education programs, and yet they have not done so in a coordinated way. Instead, they have been moderately competitive for volunteers, funding, and other forms of support. We will change this by positioning our non-profit coalition partners as the pipeline and user-interface to the K-12 schools surrounding RTP through the US2020 database. Mentorships with kids via established non-profit STEM programs will be broken down into jobs ranked Level A-E based on the required time commitment for completion. Our goal is to move volunteers up the continuum by letting them experience success through established curricular programs with our experienced non-profits. This mentor expansion will in return drive active participation in schools seeking and recruiting mentors, therefore allowing non-profits and volunteers to reach greater numbers of kids.
Schools around RTP will be recruited for their underrepresented and FRL populations (which exist extensively surrounding RTP, particularly at Nealand Lowes Grove Middle Schools). The school incentives for participation will be access to the resources of RTP employees, involvement in our non-profit partner STEM education programs, as well as participation in a spring STEM Showcase Finale (the STEMovment Awards) at the end of the academic year, where kids and their mentors will present their collaborative work, which will be live streamed for the whole state and nation to see what the volunteers accomplished with the kids. A competition, led by the founding partner CEOs, will challenge and reward companies that meet or exceed the 20/20/20 goal, based on size of company. Kids will also win awards, based on soon-to-be-established criteria, at the Finale, and judges will include venture capitalists and start up innovators at First Flight Venture Center and the American Underground to find what inventions or innovation concepts might best succeed at making it in today's market.
Our region is so rich with both established and fledgling companies that students will see not only the role they can play in established global companies, but also what it might be like to start their own company and dream up an idea that no one has thought of yet.
The RTP coalition would like to recognize and thank themembers of its guiding coalition for all of their hard work and leadership overthe last eight months. They include:
Lisa Jemison - RTF
Christina O'Neill - Cisco Systems
Megan DePorter-Zeishner - Cisco Systems
Nicole Reginelli - Fidelity Investments
Jin Ellington - Citizen Schools of NC
Marie Hopper - NC FIRST Robotics
Kim Gervase - NC Science Olympiad
Atrayus Goode - Movement of Youth
Pamela Blizzard - Research Triangle High School
Benjy Downing - Durham Public Schools