More than 600 students across San Mateo County will now have increased opportunities to learn critical science, technology, engineering and math skills thanks to more than $100,000 in grants awarded by the Board of Supervisors and Workforce Development Services.
“This funding is critically important,” said San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom. “In a region known for innovation and technology-driven industries, it is essential that young people learn to solve problems and the joy of asking probing questions so that they can become the innovators of tomorrow.”
The Board of Supervisors in 2005 created the Math and Science Workgroup to promote and improve student achievement and teacher excellence in math and science by employing new strategies to engage and inspire students.
The workgroup encourages collaborations between the county, cities, schools and businesses to build a strong workforce responsive to changes and demands in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) innovation. The Workgroup provides grants through the STEM Innovation Fund, and is funded by the General Fund.
Through these grants, students will be able to participate in the following after-school programs:
- The San Mateo County Community STEM Alliance will provide eight-week modules to more than 200 students in San Carlos, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica and the mid-coast. These modules will give students the opportunity to learn computer programming and use high-tech tools to analyze earth’s environmental and ecological communities.
- San Mateo students from Borel Middle School and Highlands Elementary School, and students from La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District will learn technology skills, problem-solving critical thinking and technology troubleshooting through hands-on experience with Mouse Squad Student Tech Leadership.
- In South San Francisco’s “Old Town” section, where 65 percent of students are not meeting math proficiency levels, 150 elementary school students will participate in Math is Power sessions and explore science through microbe and plant experiments.
- Daly City students at T.R. Pollicita Middle School will work side-by-side with San Francisco State University students on robotics and science projects, and become instructors themselves as they lead science activities with K-5th grade students from Susan B. Anthony Elementary School.
“By forming a partnership between the county, cities, schools, and community-based partners, we are able to provide opportunities for our children to explore science and technology, and develop the skills needed to close a critical achievement gap,” said Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson, co-chair of the Math and Science Workgroup.