Chasing A Moonshot, Without The Trappings Of Silicon Valley

June 21, 2018

Perhaps the biggest defining feature of 100Kin10 is its deep, networked approach to uncovering the problem in the first place. Three years into the organization’s creation, executive director Talia Milgrom-Elcott realized that it could reach its moonshot goal on time — but that it could do so without addressing the underlying issues. The team could recruit STEM teachers, but there would be no guarantee that they would remain in the classroom a few years later.

“Despite our progress, [we realized that] not enough people want to become teachers or stay in the classroom,” she says. “What if every other problem [related to STEM education] can be traced back to that? It was as if we were in a sinking boat, and the team of us was bailing it out as fast as the water was pouring in.”

Milgrom-Elcott’s team set out to plug the leaks in the boat, using a process inspired by Toyota’s 5 Why’s: “Keep asking ‘why’ until you stop learning something new.”

And ask it did. 100Kin10 talked to thousands of stakeholders in STEM education, from teachers to principals to government staff, to understand what was keeping it from being a healthy, vibrant profession.

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