Due to COVID, ABC has been working hard to expand its programming into activities that can be done virtually. Rather than reinvent the wheel, ABC reached out to many partners and organizations in the community to explore potential partnerships.
One partnership that emerged is between ABC and the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative. They recently came together to join forces to connect STEM programs with students at Cincinnati Public Schools. The partnership includes three distinct tracks, each of which will be completed virtually before the end of this school year:
All of these three programs are FREE to the students who participate!
As the lead agency at 10 CPS schools, Activities Beyond the Classroom has direct access to thousands of children. Working through ABC’s network of on-the-ground employees, ABC’s Resource Coordinators will work with their students to help them register for and stay engaged in these opportunities.
ABC STEM Bicycle Club
The ABC STEM Bicycle Club provides the opportunity for 15 children in grades 7-12 to meet weekly (virtually) and learn how to build a bike. The program helps students strengthen their critical thinking, problem solving, and persistence/perseverance skills.
Each week students make micro adjustments to, and reverse engineer, a new bicycle that they get to keep at the end of the session. The club also exposes students to STEM career possibilities through the involvement of community mentors and coaches.
ABC started this club in February as part of the Virtual ABC Clubs, and delivered the equipment to each student’s school. The children then coordinated with the school’s Resource Coordinator to pick up the supplies needed to build their own bicycle.
Girls in STEM
Women make up half of the U.S. college–educated workforce yet only 28% of the science and engineering workforce. Girl-centered STEM programming allows girls to see they have a place in STEM, creates a safe space for them to learn, and exposes them to women role models and mentors.
These bi-weekly workshops provide a variety of STEM activities designed to empower girls to pursue careers in science, technology and math, and to connect girls with female engineers. Registration opened recently, and the goal is to register 325 girls.
West Point Center for Leadership and Diversity
On April 23, 2021, up to fifty 7th & 8th grade students from Cincinnati Public Schools will have the opportunity to participate in a 60-90 minute Virtual STEM Workshop developed by the West Point Center for Leadership & Diversity in STEM.
This workshop, sponsored jointly by the West Point Society of Greater Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative, will be held virtually. West Point staff will lead the workshop, supported by cadets from the United States Military Academy.
Through its partnership with the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative, ABC is responsible for recruiting the 50 participants. Recruitment will be done through Resource Coordinators, and by working directly with the CPS administration.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, and in every activity we do in our lives.
By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion and understanding for it. A curriculum that is STEM-based has real-life situations to help the student learn. STEM activities provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for the student. Making math and science both fun and interesting helps the student to do much more than just learn.
To quote the National Science Foundation, “In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.”
ABC’s main partner in this program, the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative, launched in 2011 by P&G and StrivePartnership in response to the accelerating demand for STEM jobs in the Greater Cincinnati region. Their fiscal agency moved to the UC Foundation in 2015. GCSC’s mission is to prepare students to join the Greater Cincinnati/Northern KY workforce through connected, robust STEM learning pathways. Its overarching goals are to dramatically increase the number of students who are: 1) STEM aware; 2) STEM interested; and 3) engaged and on track for STEM college and careers.
If you’d like to learn more or find out how your child can participate, email. firstname.lastname@example.org.