The STEM Research and Modeling Network (SRMN) brings together researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and funders to use modeling and simulation for strengthening student interest, participation and achievement in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The SRMN is hosted by the Business-Higher Education Forum and was founded in 2008 by BHEF, Raytheon Company, and The Ohio State University.

The impetus of the SRMN was the development of the U.S. STEM Education Model, a system dynamics model developed by the Raytheon Company in order to examine ways to increase the number of students choosing to major and graduate in STEM disciplines. Using the model as a starting point, the SRMN provides an open innovation platform for developing a common set of STEM education and research priorities. By bringing together multiple stakeholders, the SRMN fosters dynamic collaboration around modeling and research to improve practice and policy.

A major focus of the SRMN is to introduce these techniques and tools, as well as their benefits and opportunities, to the diverse range of stakeholders. The SRMN has already attracted several thought leaders, funders, and other potential partners to the effort:

  • Multidisciplinary teams of faculty and graduate students based at The Ohio State University and Arizona State University have begun coalescing to create state-based models.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided funding to launch the STEM Education Modeling Project and to support the initial development of the SRMN.
  • The National Institute of Health (NIH), Northrop Grumman and National Science Foundation (NSF) have provided funding to support projects led by SRMN members.
  • The Kauffman Foundation provided support for the first SRMN convening.
  • IBM and Sun Microsystems have provided in-kind technical assistance regarding the development of an open innovation network.

The STEM Research and Modeling Network will play a central role in advancing a prototype system dynamics model developed by the Raytheon Company. Researchers and developers will be able to download the model freely for their own research and modeling work. As an open-innovation community, the SRMN will rely on its members for model maintenance, research-driven upgrades, technical assistance and other community support functions.

A Google Group has been set up for the SRMN, which provides a space for a message board, document sharing, member profiles if desired, and other useful applications. The SRMN Google Group is open to all interested parties, but it does require an initial registration. Find the sign-in page and instructions here: http://groups.google.com/group/srmn.