The National Science Foundation reports that there are currently between 2 and 3 million unfilled positions in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Department of Commerce shows that in the past 10 years, STEM jobs grew at three times the rate of non-STEM jobs, a trend likely to continue and accelerate. Innovation is tightly coupled with science, technology, engineering and math – the STEM subjects. STEAM can be defined as science and technology, interpreted through engineering and the arts, all based in mathematical elements.

THRIVE2016 17The 2016-17 Technology Edition of THRIVE magazine has been released by the Daily Journal, in partnership with the Economic Alliance of Kankakee County. "The intent of this publication," explains Alliance Vice President of Marketing & Business Attraction Lisa Wogan, "is to showcase tech advances large and small across our community - from our vibrant manufacturing, biotech, agriculture and health care industries to the growing and rich STEM education programming in our area schools."


Programs/Curricula

  • Kankakee School District #111 - Defined STEM - With a $30 million grant, Kankakee School District #111 is undergoing a comprehensive revamp of not only its curriculum but also its school facilities to reflect a new focus on the professional standards and space configurations of corporate America. Offered at Kankakee School District #111, Defined STEM is a service that offers an enormous collection of pre-created problems and project-based learning resources for all core subjects in K-12. WorkKankakee has a pilot program at Kankakee School District 111 and financially supports its STEM program, its mentoring for college and career readiness efforts (City Life’s program) and has provided industry and other organizational contacts for internships and other forms of mentoring.
  • Project Lead the Way - (PLTW) is the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs.  
  • Destination Imagination - The Destination Imagination early learning program provides teachers with a framework which enables them to relate more effectively with students while preparing them for elementary grades.  *taken directly from their site
  • Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy - Professional Field Services at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy serves educators, schools and districts through innovative educational programs and products and provides high quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs for Illinois students.  *taken directly from their site
  • Khan Academy - Khan Academy provides learning free for everyone.  Its content focuses on STEM related learning to give access to anyone seeking to learn.
  • Code - Code focuses on teaching the next generation specific computer skills that are in high demand in the job field.
  • GirlSTEAM - Presented by Kankakee Community College, GirlSTEAM is a summer program for girls entering grades 6-8 to introduce careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. (STEAM)

STEM Competitions

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  • FIRST Tech Challenge- Kankakee School District KAY TECH junior high and high school robotics teams and Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School Ironclad robotics teams compete at U.S. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)Tech Challenge and undertake STEAM-related community engagement projects.
  • Broadcom MASTERS - Designed to increase students’ experience in STEM-related fields this free competition encourages 6th-9th grade students to use the scientific method/inquiry or engineering design process to solve real-world challenges.To register email at missioncontrol@ecybermission.com.
  • Explorvision - ExploraVision is a science competition that encourages students to study a technology of interest and predict what it might look like 20 years from now. Students are encouraged to work in groups of 2-4 students and must be sponsored by a teacher.
  • Google Science Fair - This online science competition is open to students between the ages of 13 and 18 from anywhere in the world, working alone or in teams. This is a great opportunity for teenagers to explore ideas they’re passionate about, learn about science, and maybe produce a world-changing idea.
  • Intel Science Talent Search - The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors.
  • US First - is a site designed to promote engineering through competitions. It has competitions ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade.