Washington, DC—Marlena L. Jones, Acting Director of Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) and the DC STEM Network has been accepted as one of 22 fellows in the inaugural class of LEAD STEM, a new national leadership development experience designed to empower and arm individuals with high level skills to shape the future of STEM education in the U.S. Fellows are meeting in person for the first time today in Kansas City, MO as part of the STEM Learning Ecosystems National Community of Practice Convening.

Carnegie Science has been committed to hands-on science and STEM education in Washington, DC, for almost three decades through CASE programs. In 2014, CASE partnered with the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education to establish the DC STEM Network. Now in its third year, the DC STEM Network unites community partners to inspire and prepare all DC youth to succeed, lead and innovate in STEM fields and beyond.

Jones was named Acting Director of CASE and the Network in 2016. In her commitment to STEM education in DC, she has developed STEM Ambassadors program as a mechanism to promote DC STEM educators, directed the DC STEM Fair, and led the DC STEM Collaborative, which brought together AP Biology teachers and researchers to identify ways to introduce cutting edge research into the classroom. Due to her leadership in launching the CASE STEM Kit program, CASE was recently named as a partner of the Amgen Biotech Experience program, which will train DC teachers in biotechnology and provide research-grade equipment to DC classrooms.

According to Jones, “I am honored to be a part of a national movement that will move the needle on STEM learning and apply best practices in the District of Columbia.”

Representing leaders and emerging leaders in corporate, education, museums and STEM-rich organizations from 19 regions, LEAD STEM fellows have agreed to invest the next nine months in intensive training and education on a variety of topics including policy change, fundraising, sustainability, relationship building and leadership.

“In order to be competitive and world leaders in STEM, we need to develop trail blazers who can challenge the status quo and have the respect and influence to affect change,” says Gerald Solomon, executive director of Samueli Foundation.

Samueli Foundation partnered with TIES – Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM to develop LEAD STEM, which leverages their respective proven track records in STEM education. The curriculum uses best practices from top leadership training courses to create a new generation of individuals who have vested interests in advancing STEM and its core principles throughout the U.S.

LEAD STEM’s curriculum aligns with the successful model of STEM Learning Ecosystems where Communities of Practice engage in cross-systems collaboration and peer-to-peer learning among educators, the business community, out-of-school programs and STEM-rich institutions.

“We are committed to providing STEM access to all learners in all U.S. zip codes,” said TIES CEO Jan Morrison. “Through our work with building the STEM Learning Ecosystems, we realized that change has to be done locally.”

Fellows will be charged with using design studies to bring constituents in their respective STEM Learning Ecosystems together to develop a local capstone project that addresses a community-based need. LEAD STEM faculty and mentors will guide the capstone projects through strategic planning and the identification of measurable goals and identifiable outcomes.


The DC STEM Network unites community partners to help inspire and prepare all DC youth to succeed, lead, and innovate in STEM fields and beyond. The Network connects educators, industry experts, community organizations, and colleges to support STEM learning across the city. Visit www.dcstemnetwork.org for more information.

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