On May 11, 2017, the Illinois Science and Technology Institute (ISTI) and Education Systems Center at NIU hosted an employer summit to bring employers together to talk about building effective learning partnerships between employers and schools through problem-based learning, titled Employer Summit: Building Effective Learning Partnerships.
This employer convening, sponsored by The Joyce Foundation and hosted at 1871, gave companies the opportunity to learn about and discuss models around effective education programming and partnerships with high schools among their peers, particularly the STEM Challenges model created by ISTI. Participating companies included Microsoft, Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, State Farm, and Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
The goal of this event was to provide a forum to discuss problem-based learning, mentoring, employee volunteerism, and other education and talent-related topics, including how to better harness technology in the classroom and how to assess the impact of this work. As an outcome of this summit, interest in building partnerships between schools, communities, and employers around projects and programs has increased, and ISTI and EdSystems hope to bring more employers and providers together in the future to learn from each other and build new connections.