Who We Are
We are a STEM learning connector for the Traverse Bay Area, building a strong ecosystem to benefit our families, businesses, and community.
Newton's Road is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase STEM awareness, connect K-12 students to resources, and contribute to a growing STEM culture in the Grand Traverse Bay Area. We provide a streamlined approach for students and families to locate, access, and learn about enriching resources. We support career exploration and mobilize volunteers with STEM expertise to connect with students.
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.