Emily Yim, Washington Alliance for Better Schools
2019 Award Recipient
Nominated by the Structural Engineers Association of Washington
Emily Yim, Executive Director of the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS), has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 K-12 STEM Engineering Teacher of the Year in recognition of her many contributions to the STEM education of K-12 students. WABS is a collaborative of eleven school districts that helps over a quarter million students graduate career and college ready. To achieve its mission, WABS seeks to close achievement and opportunity gaps in historically underrepresented populations and increase academic achievement and career readiness for STEM fields.
As the visionary leader of WABS, she led the expansion of the After School STEM Academy program, which currently serves over 4,700 students every year. The program is an engaging, hands-on STEM expanded learning opportunity for elementary and middle school students facilitated by industry volunteers to build awareness of STEM careers and career pathways. During each session, STEM industry professionals lead hour-long small group activities with students to reinforce engineering concepts, share their workplace experiences, and highlight career pathways.
She was also instrumental in establishing a new program called Family STEM Night for students and families. The program engages culturally diverse students and their multi-generational families in a five-week course of evening hands-on STEM activities to broaden understanding of career pathways and support family engagement. Conducted by industry volunteers, the program works to build opportunity for students of color and students who do not speak English as their first language. By taking a holistic approach to exposing students and their families to STEM careers, the program empowers families to become engaged in their children’s education.