For Immediate Release: August 1, 2014
From: International Association for STEM Leaders
International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation’s capitol and provides awards Root Cause the International STEM Leadership Award for its work in Botswana. Jason Turner, Managing Partner of Root Cause Inc., is part of our ongoing video documentary featuring national STEM leaders.
On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for extra-ordinary achievement in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by IASL criteria.
Root Cause Inc., a Washington, D.C. based corporation, was awarded the International STEM Leadership Award for its developing partnership with the Republic of Botswana. Jason Turner, Managing Partner, through his vision, “STEM BATSWANA” (BATswana = the people of Botswana) has been working with their Ministry of Education and Skills Department to rapidly increase the nation’s STEM capacity -- with a laser focus on primary (elementary) schools. Root Cause is co-owned by Mark Wyatt, President of Middleburg VA based Diversified Education Systems. This unique strategic alliance allows Root Cause to leverage DES’s 50 years of industry leadership in providing “turnkey” STEM and workforce development environments including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support – to underserved markets both at home and abroad.
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students. In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional leadership, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and economic development issues.
Mr. Turner, a native of Washington D.C., is passionate in his belief that anyone – given the tools, access and opportunity – can change the world. On a mission to broaden access and build opportunity for historically underserved students through STEM, Mr. Turner first forged partnerships with both the District of Columbia Public Schools, as well as the Prince George’s County Public Schools in 2012 to successfully install each’s FIRST standalone STEM laboratories for elementary school children, and use these resources to change a young person’s view of what’s possible while making science and engineering FUN!!
He founded Root Cause in 2011 as a business mechanism to deliver just this: access to best of breed STEM curricula, equipment, teacher training and stakeholder engagement - a PLATFORM – from which those with the least can be set to compete for jobs in today’s STEM driven economy. He designed the firm’s proprietary “STEM-fra-STRUCTURE” platform, along with business partner Mark Wyatt, President of Diversified Educational Systems (DES), to rapidly deploy and support STEM-based tools and programs, yet deliver increased R.O.I. by ensuring they are measureable, scalable and sustainable.
With DCPS and PGCPS STEM labs as the model, Root Cause engaged internationally in 2013 with the Republic of Botswana, and is leading a feasibility study to re-engineer the nation’s primary education system around a STEM philosophy, curricula, and training for teachers, by the republic’s 50th anniversary of independence in 2016. Today, while expanding into middle and high school STEM solutions locally, Root Cause is engaged with other African nations like Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Kenya, as well as in the Caribbean to quickly advance national job creation and economic sustainability through access to best of breed STEM and CTE tools.
Among his accomplishments, Mr. Turner is especially proud of having co-founded the charity Extra-Ordinary Life (www.extra-ordinarylife.org) in 2009 to provide global experiences to foster youth in Washington DC. These efforts culminated in a 2010 trip to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa for DC foster girls, filmed in a documentary by Black Entertainment Television (BET) and shown in 34 countries. In 2007, Jason was appointed by D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to oversee a $350 million overhaul of parks and recreation facilities. Until 2009, Mr. Turner served as Chairman of the DC Boxing and Wrestling Commission, where he focused on youth programming and advocacy.
Mr. Turner has held various management positions with corporations such as The Procter & Gamble Company, Baxter Healthcare and Verizon Communications (Digex), in addition to his local government leadership. A 1991 graduate of the University of Virginia, Mr. Turner maintains his primary residence in Washington, DC and has two children, ages 13 and 9, who both attend D.C. public schools.