Who We Are
Newton's Road is a Northwest Michigan STEM learning connector (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).
The mission of our nonprofit is to ensure all youth in our region have opportunities to develop creative problem solving skills and investigate STEM-related careers so they may thrive in the local and global economy.
We are living, learning, and working in the midst of a digital transformation that is dramatically changing how industries, organizations, and people across the globe operate and engage. Because new types and ways of doing business are rapidly happening, the jobs of the future are evolving. Everyone will need a strong foundation in STEM skills whatever field they choose to work in because every company is becoming a technology company.
This is why we believe facilitating experiences that incorporate STEM elements and creative thinking in structured and unstructured ways are important starting from a young age.
To help ensure access to quality STEM-related experiences for all youth in our region, we:
- Fund and promote STEM events and initiatives that scale opportunities for all youth
- Create partnerships between local businesses, organizations and institutions that meet the greatest needs in our region
- Inform K-12 students and families of quality STEM learning resources and career exploration opportunities in our region and how to access them
- Inspire and support all youth to exercise their own creative problem solving skills
For more details, see the links on the right side of this page.
Our vision and hope is that our work contributes to increased economic opportunity for the future of our youth, our businesses, and our region.
We can only accomplish this mission through the trusted support of our sponsors, donors, board, volunteers, and partners. Newton’s Road is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are grateful for your support!
What is STEM?
The acronym STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. But what does STEM really mean to you and your family, and why should you care about it?
STEM skills include figuring out how things work following the scientific method, and using geometry, algebra or calculus to model and design things. It means making (engineering) a solution to a business process or health issue, and programming (technology) something to perform a task. Just as important are the abilities to make things that are useful and usable, to work well in a diverse team of people, to think creatively about ways to solve a problem, and to share your ideas and results in a compelling way.
This is why we believe that facilitating experiences that incorporate STEM elements, creative thinking, and multiple forms of communication in structured and unstructured ways are important starting from a young age. Experiences that incorporate all of the above are often referred to as STEAM with the "A" standing for incorporating the Arts in support of STEM skills development.
Learn more on this topic here Feb/March FF Article
Why increased STEM opportunities are important:
- Industries are rapidly changing due to IoT and Big Data, and we need to prepare our youth and community for success in this increasingly digital economy.
- Local businesses need a pipeline of potential employees that have these technical and 21st Century skills and are already facing shortages.
- While local program providers are increasingly addressing these needs, there is a clear consensus that our community would greatly benefit from a comprehensive STEM hub that nurtures a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem of opportunities.
- We have an incredibly gifted community, willing and able to support this ecosystem with their abundance of time, talent and treasures; we need an effective way to connect them into the ecosystem.
What we are doing:
- Analyzing the needs of the community to form a thriving STEM Ecosystem.
- Connecting, catalyzing and creating solutions that meet identified community needs.
- Inspiring a local interest in STEM-related careers.
- Advocating for universal access to quality STEAM learning.
How we accomplish our mission:
- Educating parents and students on what STEM is and why it is important.
- We multiply, amplify, support and promote existing STEM learning and career opportunities to families.
- We research & collaborate to identify STEM-related skills that businesses need.
- We work with educators and businesses to facilitate and promote clear pathways to regional STEM jobs.
- We create and track metrics that are meaningful indicators of our success.
- We are developing and will sustain a dynamic, searchable online STEM Hub for the Northwest Lower Michigan community.
- We vet national and international STEM experiential learning programs to create a toolbox of options for local students and families.
- Leverage STEM Ecosystem best practices from elsewhere in Michigan and across the US to more quickly and effectively achieve our mission.