NU, District 65 announce joint STEM deal

Jen Lewin

Northwestern University, which already has a fulltime staff member housed at Evanston Township High School, is extending its resources to Evanston/Skokie School District 65 with the appointment of a STEM coordinator to assist the district.

STEM is educational shorthand for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Directing the effort will be Jennifer (Jen) Lewin. Technically, she will be an employee of Northwestern’s Science in Society Center, but her office will be located at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center at 1500 McDaniel Ave., where the district’s superintendent and other key administration officials are stationed.

Her role will be to act as an intermediator between the public school district and the university, to oversee the newly launched partnership, and to align university resources to the educational needs in District 65, according to a news release from District 65.

“Ms. Lewin will be responsible for strengthening in-school and afterschool STEM learning for District 65 youth while also providing teaching, mentoring, and service learning opportunities for Northwestern students, faculty, and staff,” the release states.

The district said “she will also provide programmatic and intellectual support for EvanSTEM – a collective-impact initiative designed to increase STEM access and engagement for Evanston’s underrepresented K-8 students.”

District Superintendent Paul Goren said he was “thrilled” to have Lewin aboard  and that he looks forward to “creating new and engaging learning opportunities for children across the district in the exciting world of STEM.”

He added that the university “continues to be a valued partner and has opened so many doors for our students and staff in the area of STEM teaching and learning. We are grateful for their continued partnership and for giving us this opportunity to connect the expertise of their students and faculty with our strategic needs here in District 65.”

The new STEM coordinator comes to the district from the Chicago Public Schools, where she taught science at the middle-school level and served as a Science Lead Teacher and a member of her school’s Instructional Leadership Team.

Lewin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Loyola University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from DePaul University, with endorsements in Science and Gifted Education. She is in the process of completing a second Master’s degree in Education Technology from Michigan State University, along with an endorsement for English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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