South San Francisco, CA April 11, 2017 Press Release
The City of South San Francisco’s after-school Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Program, which is a joint effort between the City’s Parks and Recreation and Library departments, recently received commendations by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors at its STEM Innovation Awards Ceremony.
The City’s free after-school program, which is primarily funded by a grant from the California Department of Education’s After-School Education & Safety Program, received an additional grant from San Mateo County to incorporate a STEM Program, which serves 122 South San Francisco students in grades three through five.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for our STEM after-school program, as it opens up a world of exciting and hands-on, science-rich experiences to the children of our community,” said South San Francisco Mayor Pradeep Gupta. “Our STEM Program provides real- life experience using fun activities that focus on the topics of science,technology, engineering, and math – essential subjects that provide a solid education foundation for our students to succeed in any career and in life.”
About the programs
Through the STEM Program, the eager 122 students learn about the sciences through four program components: Let’s Talk About Math or Math Magic; MakerSpace; Hands On Minds On; and STEM Family Events.
Math Magic is an intervention model where participants are identified by staff reviewing report cards, receiving teacher referrals, and observing which students need support. Students participate in a small group or one-on-one setting to address challenges they may be having with mathematics. Additionally, staff provides mini lessons as students complete their daily assignments. Math Magic also includes parent workshops where families receive reference sheets and lesson tips to support their children’s learning.
STEM Program component two, MakerSpace, opens up the world of engineering to the students, where they have hands-on experience in creating, testing, and sampling the engineering process using fun learning mediums as “squishy circuits” and “conductive dough.” Students learn how to build 3-D models with doodler pens and a 3-D printer, as well as design projects on a special software that allows them to upload their artwork onto the computer and carve-out their creation.
Hands On Minds On:
Hands On Minds On, the third STEM Program component, evolved from participation in the Science Action Club of the California Academy of Sciences, which brings weekly coordinated science activities centered on a specific theme to students in grades five through eight. The California Academy of Sciences tailored its Science Action Club for students in grades three through four by introducing Hands On Minds On, which exposes children to the sciences in a fun learning environment that is both hands-on and minds-on.
STEM Family Events:
The fourth and last component, STEM Family Events, brings participants together for a whole-family learning and celebratory experience in events that showcase projects students created during MakerSpace, allows families to explore new technology, and holds presentations from STEM career professionals.
Due to the County’s support of the STEM program and the City’s Parks and Recreation and Library Departments participation in the Bay Area STEM Ecosystem – a member of a nationwide initiative to provide equal access to STEM education for all students, the local community will enjoy a fantastic line up of organizations such as Bay Area Discovery Museum, CuriOdyssey, California Academy of Sciences, and the Computer History Museum coming together in a Summer Series of STEM programs presented at the City’s Community Learning Center.
“I cannot think of a more innovative and dynamic science-based after-school program for our South San Francisco students than the STEM Program. It is especially important as it teaches and ultimately readies our youth for technical-related careers. And what better place for our students to learn about high-tech careers than in our booming community of South San Francisco – the Biotech Capital of the World,” said Mayor Gupta.