STEAM Powered Community

Academic Enrichment Grant 2020-2021 Project Summary

Gina Baragone

Cesar E. Chavez Middle School • San Bernardino, CA

Our project, Steam Powered Community, is centered on inspiring students in our community to dream big while learning to connect and help people around them. A majority of our students have little access to advanced technology or STEM/STEAM activities. With this grant, we hope to introduce hundreds of middle and elementary school students to STEAM technology while encouraging them to become active members of their community. Our project has 3 parts to it. Part 1 involves training a group of teachers in various new technologies that did not exist when they last went to school. Part 2 involves taking students on a field trip to learn from a member of their community that used technology to become very successful. Part 3 involves introducing new technology to middle school students and then taking them across the street to the neighborhood elementary school where they will teach what they have learned with third graders. The teachers involved in this grant have been teaching over 15 years. The technology our students need today is vastly different to what existed 15-30 years ago. The teachers are seeking to learn new technologies that will help their low income students have access to fields they would not ordinarily consider. Each year of the grant, focuses on a new technology. By the end of the 3 year period, the teachers will be trained in a variety of technology. The second part of this grant is centered on inspiring our students by introducing them to a member of this community who was able to use technology to become very successful and who has used their success to give back to his community. Each year a portion of the grant funds will be used to take approximately 200 technology elective (and after-school technology club) students on a field trip to Garner-Holt animatronics factory. This factory was founded by a former student of SBCUSD school district (our district) and is one of the top producers of animatronics in the US. The field trip introduces students to the processes of animatronics through participating in hands-on activities. The final part of the project focuses on the middle school students learning and then teaching new technologies. Students attend Chavez Middle school from 6-8 grade and take the technology class each year. Each year of the grant will focus on a different technology field. Year one students will learn robotics with the Robotics Humminbird kits and create their own robots. Year 2, students will use 3d printers to design and create something that helps someone else. Year three, students learn advanced coding. After each activity, the middle school students will take their projects across the street and teach the elementary students an aspect of their technology. Ultimately this will create community between the elementary and middle school. The elementary students will be introduced to a variety of technology at an early age and get excited about going to middle school. The middle school students will gain experience in teaching others and being mentors.

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