STEMPLOY’s mission is to launch the A-STEM Academy and establish a state-of-the-art learning center for pre-school and K-12 students aimed at strengthening STEM education by: 1) Offering an out-of-school STEMrichment center and after school learning academy for all students; 2) Improving the quality and quantity of K-12 programs for science and mathematics; 3) Providing strong experiences in science and mathematics for all K-12 students while increasing the number of graduates pursuing careers in STEM disciplines; 4) Creating a supportive environment for multidisciplinary research, evaluation, and assessment while bridging the gap between industry, educators, and STEM professionals; and 5) Encouraging community engagement that leads to increased university partnerships with school districts, business and industry, and the community.
The vision for the A-STEM Academy is to establish a hands-on learning center that addresses the needs for increased career awareness education in STEM fields by collaborating with industry, educators, Universities, and parents/students to offer advanced learning. Curriculum designed and developed for the Academy will focus on core standards for Math and Science in addition to assessments for measuring performance of educational research. The long-term educational focus is to lead to best practices that benefit the science and mathematics fields at all levels. To reach this goal, STEMPLOY currently offers out-of-school A-STEM-focused learning programs and summer camps geared towards elementary and middle school students. A series of summer programs, the A-STEM of Mind and A-STEM for Life Programs are designed to enrich student learning.
These programs include hands-on workshops, summer camps, and curriculum for facilitators and middle school students in STEM as an art-driven educational technology platform (A-STEM=Art-infused STEM). By incorporating art and preserving a child’s innate sense of curiosity and wonder, STEMPLOY strives to foster active and involved life-long STEM learners. Fundamentals of art are incorporated into curriculum that enable teachers to engage students, provide relevance, and innovate STEM learning, thus allowing students to absorb deeper concepts and vital competencies of common core standards. Based on previous research, an alarmingly high percentage of girls lose interest in STEM subjects early in their development. Targeting underrepresented elementary and middle school girls will increase chances for hands-on, collaborative learning experiences that address the gender participation gap in STEM.