Broad partnerships that engage a variety of stakeholders are crucial for developing and articulating shared values and language for engaging in collaborative initiatives, particularly if those initiatives are anticipated to be sustainable, effective, and inclusive. As we look at the Computer Science and Computational Thinking (CS+CT) landscape of western North Carolina, it is clear that a number of stakeholders are engaged in economic and community development, infrastructure, industry, and K-12 education, and post-secondary education. It is less clear in what ways we are currently leveraging resources or relationships to maximize the impact of our activities.
The CS+CT Exploratory Group is initiating the mapping of our relationships to develop an early view of our current STEM Ecosystem, a way of visualizing the components of a network of collaborators or related stakeholders. This emerging Ecosystem will then be engaged in intentionally describing common values, identifying shared priorities and opportunities, and expanding the resulting network in ways that will allow for systemic, regional enhancement of educational and economic activities related to CS+CT.