Rural STEM Initiative
In May 2022, DHEDF announced the launch of a National STEM Initiative focused on Rural Schools. The goal is to establish ongoing relationships with schools participating in the Initiative to supplement their other STEM resources at no charge to the school and on a non‑exclusive basis.
An Overview of the Initiative
To help implement our mission statement, DHEDF established three national advisory councils of subject matter experts, i.e. a Teacher Advisory Council (TAC), an Automotive STEM Advisory Council, and an Aerospace STEM Advisory Council. One of the members of the Teacher Advisory Council is Terri Mynatt, the Principal /Teacher at the John Fredson School in Venetie, Alaska, population 166, north of the Artic Circle, there are no roads into the village, the only access is by bush plane or dog sled, Terri, her students and the community quickly became our heroes. We discussed with Terri the great resources represented by the members of all of our Advisory Councils, the institutions they are affiliated with, our many friends and partners, and how we could use technology to deliver STEAM resources and opportunities to her school.
It then occurred to us that if we could deliver quality resources and programing to the John Fredson School in Venetie, Alaska we could deliver quality STEAM resources to rural schools throughout America. We discussed the concept with our Advisory Council members and they enthusiastically supported the concept.
In May 2022 DHEDF announced the launch of a National STEM Initiative focused on Rural Schools. In September 2022, we launched the Initiative for the 2022/2023 academic year in twelve schools in nine states, over time our goal is to reach out to rural schools in all fifty states. One of the programs we launched in September 2022 as part of our Rural STEM Initiative is live virtual STEM presentations. We partnered with the UTSA Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design, a Tier One Research University, on our virtual presentations, our presenters will be drawn from our advisory council members and the entities they represent and educational, governmental, NGOs, and industry partners. The virtual presentations are then recorded and posted on the DHEDF website and You Tube channel. For a listing of the live virtual presentations recorded to date please click here.
The goal is to establish an ongoing relationship with the schools participating in the Initiative to supplement their other STEM resources at no charge to the school and on a non-exclusive basis.
I am pleased to report that the Rural STEM Initiative has been very well received by schools, school districts, state and federal agencies, academic institutions, and potential industry partners. To learn more about the schools participating in this Initiative please refer to the Participating Schools list on this page and please click here.
To learn more about the DHEDF Rural STEM Initiative, and the opportunity for your rural school to participate in this Initiative please call or email Wayne I. Fagan at (210) 570-7888 and
Dee Howard International Education Foundation
Venetie, Alaska , the home of the John Fredson School, is a village north of the artic circle with a population of 166 according to the last census taken with a dedicated group of teachers matched only by the enthusiasm of their students. The Mission of the John Fredson School is, "Working cooperatively with the families of Venetie, John Fredson School will integrate traditional knowledge with modern educational methods. Authentic, informed education will instruct our youth, preparing them to be active and contributing participants in our village and the world at large.” Due to the remoteness of the school, the delivery of resources to the school by the DHEDF Rural STEM Initiative via the internet and other modern technology will help bridge the gap between the students at the school and the students in less remote communities. In short, the Initiative will help provide some of the resources the teachers need to help them fulfill the Vision of the school “To educate all students in both traditional and contemporary knowledge sufficient to be happy and productive in a modern world, along with a deep appreciation for Gwichʻin values. Our vision is to instill knowledge of history, pride in culture, and confidence to go forth into today's world.“