Network Explores Industry Learning Exchanges

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Network Explores Industry Learning Exchanges

By david.demuthIn standard3rd October, 2014

ND STEM Network manager Ryan Aasheim and the Praxis Strategy Group is developing a strategy for the ND STEM Network that includes establishing a STEM Industry Learning Exchange that will work to connect private industry and business with K12 schools, their teachers, and ultimately the learners, our North Dakota children.

Industry Learning Exchanges bring together educators, industry and other stakeholders in government and the non-profit sector to better align and galvanize efforts and resources to create North Dakota’s next generation STEM workforce.  Industry Learning Exchanges are public-private partnerships organized by career cluster that work to coordinate planning, investment and sharing of resources. Learning exchanges promote STEM careers and occupations and identify work place learning opportunities for students that fit their interests and aspirations.

Exchanges create an organizing structure for communications and coordination to better connect programs across the state in a similar career cluster while also tracking local and statewide needs and performance.  Industry participation ensures that STEM curricula reflect current and future skills and trends related to technology.   Successful, high performing programs can be replicated in other localities and/or scaled up for implementation statewide.

A Learning Exchange will be launched in seven identified industries areas below and led by the ND STEM Network to leverage a statewide network of businesses, employer associations, education partners, and other stakeholders. The exchanges would ideally be launched using state investment, but would be supported by investments and on-going commitments from public-private partners.  An initial effort would focus on three industries sectors for one year to build their network, further develop capacity for implementation, and demonstrate function as it leads to enhanced learning.

  1. Energy
  2. Aviation, Aerospace, UAS
  3. Agriculture & Biotech
  4. Software, Computing, & IT
  5. Medical, Health, Life sciences
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Creative Industries

Models for these learning exchanges exist elsewhere, most notably in Illinois:  STEM Learning Exchange.

Graphic: ND STEM Network STEM Industry Learning Exchange

Contact Ryan at

5 thoughts on “Network Explores Industry Learning Exchanges”

  1. David – Thanks for the visual! It made me think about Collective Impact

    Basically, the Collective Impact approach is premised on the belief that no single policy, government department, organisation or program can tackle or solve the increasingly complex social problems we face as a society. The approach calls for multiple organisations or entities from different sectors to abandon their own agenda in favour of a common agenda, shared measurement and alignment of effort. Unlike collaboration or partnership, Collective Impact initiatives have centralised infrastructure – known as a backbone organisation – with dedicated staff whose role is to help participating organisations shift from acting alone to acting in concert.

    Read more on Collective Impact

  2. David – Thank you for including Creative Industry in your model. Creative Industry is defined as: “‘those industries that are based on individual creativity, skill and talent with the potential to create wealth and jobs through developing intellectual property’ – includes thirteen sectors: advertising, architecture, the art and antiques market, crafts, design, designer fashion, film, interactive leisure software (ie. video games), music, the performing arts, publishing, software, and television and radio.”

    Including this facet of industry in your paradigm create a full and complete picture for creating a robust economy for the state of ND!

  3. Rebecca,

    In reading AMERICA’S CREATIVE ECONOMY A STUDY OF RECENT CONCEPTIONS, DEFINITIONS, AND APPROACHES TO MEASUREMENT ACROSS THE USA, A REPORT FROM THE CREATIVE ECONOMY COALITION (CEC) A WORKING GROUP OF THE NATIONAL CREATIVITY NETWORK, from page 31: One definition of a creative occupation: “A role within the creative process that brings cognitive skills to bear to bring about differentiation to yield either novel, or significantly enhanced products whose final form is not fully specified in advance.” citing Bakhshi, Freeman and Higgs, 2013: 24 your suggestion to include the creative industries makes perfect sense.


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