Charting a Path

To STEM Belonging and Success for Every Student

You Can’t Solve a
Problem You Don’t

Guided by this insight, Beyond100K engaged thousands of people to identify and distill the challenges holding back the PK-12 education system from preparing and retaining STEM teachers who cultivate classrooms of STEM belonging, especially for Black, Latinx, and Native American students.

Solving a Problem Also Requires Focusing Energy
and Resources

The resulting map pinpoints the opportunities with the greatest potential to systematically improve STEM learning and belonging and end the STEM teacher shortage.


How We
Mapped The

In the natural world, everything is connected. But not equally or randomly. Because of this, ecologists are able to map an ecosystem and identify the species that have an outsized impact on the health of the system. They call these “keystones.”

In Beyond100K’s first decade, we applied this concept to create a map of the STEM teacher shortage, which we called the Grand Challenges. We asked: 

We identified the challenges underlying the STEM teacher shortage and
pinpointed those with the greatest leverage and potential for impact, which we
called “keystones.” The Grand Challenges map supported our network to achieve our first moonshot goal of preparing 100,000 STEM teachers in 10 years.

 Guided by this map, we focused our network’s collective capacity on three areas, with a particular focus on the following high-leverage keystones:

  • Teachers often lack time to collaborate or participate in professional development during the school day
  • School administrators are often not supported or required to cultivate positive work environments or belonging for teachers
  • Preparation programs often lack STEM-specific tracks and faculty with STEM expertise, especially for pre-service elementary teachers
  • High schools are not often required to have a robust offering of STEM courses

In 2022, we announced our new moonshot goal to prepare 150,000 and retain 150,000 STEM teachers who cultivate classrooms of STEM belonging, especially for Black, Latinx, and Native American students.

As a first step in acting on this goal, more than 900 people across the STEM teaching and learning system contributed to expanding the Grand Challenges map by answering the question: 

From this, we identified additional challenges and high-leverage keystones:
~100 challenges, including 20 keystones, organized into 8 overall themes.

Over the next decade, we will continue to mobilize our collective efforts on the areas we began to effect change on in our first decade, especially the keystones. We will also take on one new keystone: 

It can be hard for teachers and districts to find and use joyful, relevant, and rigorous STEM curriculum that supports every student to know they belong

This 360° view captures the challenges that must be solved to end the STEM teacher shortage with equity, representation, and belonging.


Explore the challenges standing in the way of ending the STEM  teacher shortage with equity, representation, and belonging.

Learn more about how we created the map and the greatest opportunities to impact the system.

Stay up-to-date on how the Beyond100K network is
making progress on the map & see how you can join us