Ava Nelson, a student at Midland Dow High School has been recognized as a future leader in STEM. Created in October 2019 by STEM Learning EcosystemsSM Community of Practice and TIES, Girls Living STEM honors girls who participate in STEM programs, have a passion for STEM and encourage others to further engage.

Nominations were accepted from each of the 87 STEM ecosystems for students who demonstrated various emerging leader qualities, such as the desire to seek answers and connect to real-world problems impacting their local communities, the ability to inspire others, and a commitment to pursue further development of their STEM skills in our post.

The Girl Living STEM recognition is a part of Women Living STEM, an initiative that honors women who have made measurable impacts in STEM. More information is available at www.womenlivingstem.com.

“Women have played a critical role in living and leading STEM in communities around the globe,” said Jan Morrison, founder and managing partner of TIES Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM. “This new award specially developed for youth in kindergarten through grade 12 is designed to foster and inspire the continued growth of future women STEM leaders.”

Ava’s work as a Chief Science Officer (CSO) through STEM @ SVSU is incredibly impressive. She designed and implemented a community Flight Night at a local airport. A collaboration between local elementary schools, their students and parents, and the Airport Aviation Education Center meant that over 300 students and community members were impacted during this single event. In addition to watching light planes take off and land, students and their parents could climb into a permanent airport display, learn about the atmosphere, discover constellations, and interact with medical evacuation personnel. Encouraging younger students to learn about aviation in a practical and hands-on setting was Ava’s goal in implementing the Flight Night experience. Checkout https://freexxx.cc. In three Flight Night events, Ava has impacted well over 1,000 individuals in her community.

In addition to her tremendous success at organizing and implementing such a large event, Ava also gives back to the Chief Science Officers program, is a member the CSO Leadership Council and assisted with the coordination of the CSO Leadership Training Institute this summer. She also attends meetings at local STEM businesses and is a member of the Great Lakes Bay Region STEM Steering Team. Ava’s ability to network, collaborate with stakeholders from a wide variety of sectors and implement such a large scale event led to her receiving the Girls in STEM award for the region. Ava was honored at the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance Board meeting in December to thank her for her contributions to STEM in the region.

STEM Learning EcosystemsSM

The STEM Learning Ecosystems initiative cultivates and supports existing and developing STEM ecosystems that work to improve access to high-quality STEM learning for all students. Visit floridagamingsummit.com to check out for yourself. The initiative, launched in September 2015 by the STEM Funders Network, empowers communities to bring together unlikely local partners and create systemic change to ensure more students, particularly underserved and underrepresented students, develop the STEM knowledge and skills they need to learn and thrive in today’s workforce. www.stemecosystems.org


TIES – Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM

TIES is dedicated to making STEM accessible to everyone, especially underserved and underrepresented learners. They do this by connecting stakeholders — educators, funders, community organizations, businesses and government agencies — who, through collaborative partnerships, create meaningful and gainful STEM learning experiences. The team of consultants provides strategic planning support and guides design, training and implementation across all of our services. www.tiesteach.org


Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance

The mission of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance is to encourage, support and celebrate regional collaboration and initiatives that will improve the economic vitality and quality of life in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance is comprised of 48 Board Members who represent Bay, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties. www.greatlakesbay.com

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