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Sown To Grow (STG) is a K12 education technology platform that empowers schools to improve student social, emotional, and academic health through an easy and engaging reflection and feedback process. In a short weekly routine, students check-in emotionally and reflect on the strategies that are working best for them (or new ones to try). They start with a focus on emotional well-being and expand to academic goal-setting over time. Teachers, principals, and counselors understand real-time student emotions with AI-driven insights, and proactively support student needs.

Teachers play a crucial role in STG’s process; they are responsible for creating a safe space for students, guiding them on writing reflections, and coaching them on strategies when they get stuck. STG uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to both quantitatively measure and qualitatively understand student’s social, emotional and academic health. By applying structure to otherwise unstructured text/emotional data, STG seeks to lift up insights for teachers and support students in a scalable way.

We are a small, nimble team that is inspired to make a difference in the world while building a successful business. Before starting STG, our founding team spent several years working in both the private sector and schools/districts. We care deeply about building a product that positively impacts student outcomes and makes teachers’ lives easier. We’re looking for a Data Scientist who has a shared belief in these values, an equally strong work ethic, and experience with NLP modeling and Machine Learning who has a desire to apply these technologies in the education sector.

Funding and professional development for this position will be provided by National Science Foundation’s Innovative Postdoctoral Entrepreneurial Research Fellowship (I-PERF) program. Candidates for this program must meet the following strict guidelines:

  • Hold an earned doctoral degree in an NSF-supported STEM discipline from a recognized Ph.D. granting institution
  • Earned their relevant doctoral degree within 7 years of their application to the I-PERF research opportunity
  • Be a United States Citizen, National, or Permanent Resident of the United States at the time of application to the I-PERF program.

An emphasis will also be placed for candidates from any of the following backgrounds:

  • Members of socio-economic disadvantaged groups
  • Members of underrepresented groups in science and engineering
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and
  • First generation college graduates

The majority of STG’s school and district partners serve predominantly low-income communities. STG is solving high impact and highly relevant problems using students’ academic and social-emotional reflections, making the work technically challenging, ethically nuanced, and fundamentally complex.

STG has received seed funding from highly selective, innovative funds including the National Science Foundation, US Department of Education, NewSchools Venture Fund, Imagine K12 (now Y Combinator EdTech), Impact Assets, January Ventures, Digital Promise and others. The company currently serves schools in 40 states and has large-scale contracts with organizations such as Metro Nashville Public Schools (TN), Oakland Unified School District (CA), KIPP, and more.