Ventura County STEM – Highlighting a federal program providing free passes to national parks for fourth graders across the country in 2016, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Representative. Lois Capps of Santa Barbara distributed free park passes to more than 90 fourth graders from the Grace Thille School in Santa Paula as they headed on a boat trip to Channel Islands National Park last month. The trip was partially funded by Channel Islands Park Foundation, a partner of VC STEM.
The federal program, Every Kid in A Park, allows fourth graders nationwide to obtain a pass for free entry for them and their families to more than 2,000 federally managed lands and waters nationwide for an entire year starting September 1, 2015 – August 30, 2016. Please share this opportunity widely with your ecosystems – go to https://www.everykidinapark.gov/about/ and scroll down to Tools to download posters and brochures in English and Spanish, and Press for a downloadable media kit.
Boston’s Summer Learning Approach Inspires New Legislation — Catalyzed by the Boston Summer Learning Community – the Boston Public Schools, Boston After School & Beyond, and the Boston Opportunity Agenda – state policymakers are considering new legislation that would expand summer learning programs in high need districts in Massachusetts. A report by Give A Summer of Boston entitled Why youth access to summer opportunities matters and how we can understand and increase it resulted from surveys of 500 students and 200 parents at 5 Boston area public middle schools. A key takeaway: All schools had a substantial minority of students who were interested in attending a summer program but did not end up going to one. Read the full report.
Frontiers in Urban Science Education Winter Institute — At the FUSE Winter Institute in in February, Every Hour Counts convened 45 leaders in youth development, education, and informal science from seven cities to share their thinking on how to infuse STEM learning in-and out-of-school with social-emotional skill-building and exposure to the practices of scientists and engineers detailed in the Next Generation Science Standards. The Boston, New York, Providence, Baltimore and Chicago ecosystems participated. Read more about FUSE.
Oregon Statewide Afterschool Network Leader Recognized by White House – Congratulations to Beth Unverzagt of Oregon ASK, a partner in Oregon’s ecosystem, for her recognition last month by the White House in bringing high-quality summer learning to youth. Oregon ASK is one of 17 state networks supported by the Mott and Noyce Foundations to broaden access to high-quality STEM for kids by focusing on afterschool programs. Oregon ASK’s STEM Mentors Toolkit helps organizations engage, train, and sustain STEM volunteer and mentor relationships with STEM professionals. Learn more about what is happening in Oregon.
News from the OC STEM Ecosystem Institute – The OC STEM Initiative has been busy! Learn about what they’ve been up to. Be sure to share what is happening with your ecosystem, too!