What is EMSP working on?

STEM Beyond School, funded by the Oregon Department of Education’s Innovation Funds, will be entering its fourth year. SBS provides a Community of Practice that builds connections and capacity of out-of-school educators to provide high-quality, hands-on STEM to their historically underserved students in grades 3-8.

The Youth Advisory Council is a group of up to 15 students age 13-21 who gather for 3-4 months twice per year to share STEAM with their communities and contribute to decision-making around STEAM education in their reigon. They are paid for their time and develop relationships with each other and their community over the course of their term(s).

This initiative brings career-connected learning opportunities to students where they are, utilizing existing proven programs. This project also connected students completing the course to workforce resources and industry-specific training, leveraging the regional Workforce Investment Board’s newly designed Next Generation Workforce Solutions which targets girls, low-income youth, and youth of color.

With guidance from PMSP, EMSP will select two partner elementary schools to participate in this process, which entails hosting five in-person planning sessions for the region. Participating schools will attend 3-day and a 5-day summer professional development institutes to address key learning needs connected to NGSS implementation, leadership for change, etc.

The Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce Career Linked Learning Program coordinates with school, business, and community partners to develop career-related learning experiences for students from East Multnomah County School Districts, including: Centennial School District, David Douglas School District, Gresham-Barlow School District, Parkrose School District, and Reynolds School District.

Thanks to the generosity of the Oregon Community Foundation, EMSP has the opportunity to explore solutions to the gap in collaborative business engagement in changing STEM outcomes for low-income, students of color, and girls.

With funding from the Oregon Department of Education’s STEM Innovation Grants, and in partnership with Portland Metro STEM Partnership, EMSP will develop 3- and 5-day math professional development institutes for K-8 educators. 

Members of the Business Engagement Team constantly work toward engaging business and industry partners for equitable career-connected STEAM learning. This takes place through informational meetings, and the continuous communication of lessons learned.


Led by the East Metro STEAM Partnership Equity and Empowerment Action Team, 5 listening sessions took place annually where students and/or parents gather, to learn more about their STEAM interests, experiences, and barriers. The first 5 took place in spring 2019 and an additional 5 listening sessions will happen each year moving forward.

With funding from the Oregon Department of Education’s STEM Innovation Grants, EMSP will provide professional development for Early Learning educators including PLCs and support through resources and documentation of lessons. Create a resource lending library for early learning providers and families.

In partnership with Head Start, OMSI, and TERC, EMSP has received an NSF: AISL grant to support families graduating from Head Start’s Engineering programs in continuing their connection with engineering in the early elementary years.

Oregon MESA creates equitable access for students to the innovation economy by building capacity within communities. MESA does this through partnering with schools, training teachers, and engaging parents. Together, the MESA community helps underrepresented and underserved middle and high school students achieve STEM scholastic success, leadership skills, social support, and college enrollment.

With funding from the Oregon Department of Education’s STEM Innovation Grants, EMSP takes the lead in convening 3 regional metro STEM Education Leadership Teams (professional learning communities) to accomplish a number of important goals.

Past Initiatives

In an attempt to elevate the incredible work in the East Metro area, EMSP supported 20 pockets of innovation in 2017 and 2018. The goal of this project is to raise awareness to the dedicated professionals, passionate community members, and inspiring youth in our area.

STEM Beyond School focuses on providing high quality, out-of-school time STEM learning experiences to under-served youth now, and creating a supportive infrastructure for community-based programs to continually improve and expand to reach more youth over time.

Math in Real Life, an ODE-funded collaborative professional development opportunity for teachers, is a program designed to aid in increasing student mathematics achievement aligned to Oregon standards through implementation of applied mathematics problems.

The Youth in STEAM Communications project incorporates project-based STEAM learning into the curriculum at CAL’s Digital Media and Design classrooms by making EMSP a client and providing internships at local nonprofit, MetroEast Community Media and small business, Lewis Creative, for selected students over the course of two summers.

The STEM Leadership Academy was a 12-month professional learning opportunity for elementary school district administrators, specifically principals and the district administrator who supports them. The goal of this experience was to deepen their knowledge and understanding of STEM teaching and learning through an Equity Lens so that they may more effectively serve in their roles.