We're really excited to announce our next partnership is with STEAM TEAM! Ritik Sinha has written a wonderful guest post for us. Read on to learn more about their awesome initiative! (Also be sure to check them out at steamfs.org, screenshot below)
STEAM team is an organization whose aims are to give children across the Bay Area an equal opportunity at a sciences and arts education. A few students in high school, all current sophomores in high school, noticed that students in their district had many excellent programs in STEAM subjects, but these same opportunities were not available to most students in the Bay Area outside of her school district. Upon noticing that research showed children turned down the idea of pursuing a STEAM career as early as third grade, members of the team wanted to instill a passion for STEAM into elementary school children. Most importantly, we hope to soon change the minority and gender gap in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math - by giving students in schools who request it the opportunity to learn STEAM topics beyond the classroom environment.
What We Do:
In this organization, high school teachers go to a school every two weeks to teach concepts in math, physics, biology, engineering, art, and technology. The team teaches third through fifth graders in elementary schools. Our idea is that any school who requests us to teach will be able to have their students learn about topics in STEAM that will spark an interest in them. Our carefully created curriculum involves creative, thought provoking experiments, and our teachers include only experienced and extremely capable high school students that are passionate about STEAM and who care about the impact they are making on communities.
One of our key goals is to continue to grow our team, as well as the number of students who go through our program. To do this, we frequently advertise. We update our public website often, at steamfs.org, and this site is where people are able to make a request for us to teach at their school. On this site we also allow students to apply for a position on our team. In addition to using our website to advertise, we also occasionally use school announcements at our local high school as a way to expand our team. This helps us gain team members who are passionate about STEAM have received a similar education to us - so are competent to teach. Additionally, we ask local news sources to feature us. This particular method is effective in both gaining team members and especially letting schools know about our program.
So far, we have been quite successful. In the first semester of the 2017-2018 school year, we have had about 60 students pass through the program. Of these students, 37% were Hispanic/Latino, 10% were African American, and 18% were Asian/Pacific Islanders. As we see here, a majority of the students who participated in the program were minorities. As we continue with our program, we hope to see similar success, if not better.
As our team continues to grow, we usually think about our future plans. We hope to continue visiting new elementary schools, especially those who request it. We hope to also serve schools that are in areas without as much STEAM funding so that we can provide students in these areas with a STEAM education that they do not have current access to. To make this goal feasible, we also hope to expand our team in order to be able to go to more schools.