The requested funding would make possible the design, creation and assembly of STEM learning kits. These kits will help young people gain the necessary professional skills of collaboration, communication and teamwork, each kit would serve up to five students.
The contents of kits are included in budget. Kits would be assembled by Foothills Gateway, a qualified charitable nonprofit organization that gives meaningful work and skills development to individuals who are differently abled.
The vision for this project is to empower young people in our community to do two things:
1 - Influence behavior change that will lead to greenhouse gas reductions.
2 - Learn engineering design thinking toward the potential of their innovating products, services, or environments that will result in greenhouse gas reductions.
We are working with Pretty Brainy, which is a qualified charitable 501(c)(3) education nonprofit organization.
Rotarians will be involved in the STEM Intensive weekend which will use the STEM kits. The theme for the weekend will to be to address climate action through engineering design thinking. High School girls in Poudre School District and neighboring districts will be using the kits (working in teams of five) with the help of professional or graduate student mentors who are experienced in STEM disciplines. There will also be opportunities for Rotarian involvement at Poudre school system with STEM kit implementation.
STEM Kits will —
-Outline the dilemma of CO2 emissions and increases in greenhouse gases.
-Model how to form questions.
-Reframe failure into an experience about learning, success, and building the right mindset to succeed in STEM.
-Be reusable (bare copper wire and cork, however, would need to be replenished).
STEM Kits to empower young people to:
- Grasp the dilemma of the greenhouse effect.
- Understand current technology in wind energy, the leading renewable energy source.
- Learn human-centered design, innovate new ideas, and test their viability.
- Help effect community behavior change to reduce greenhouse gases
In summary, funding would give students the opportunity to gain effective hands-on learning in the interdependence of science, engineering, technology, and innovation. Funding would be an investment in STEM education, in cultivating the talent of diverse minds for the immediate and long-term sustainability of our city and region, and in forwarding climate action for the City of Fort Collins and the region. Students in Poudre School District in grades 5 through 12, their teachers and families would benefit from the learning made possible by the kits. We are working with the curriculum coordinator for science, Poudre School District, to know exactly how to make the kits available to teachers so they are easy and desirable for them to implement. The STEM Kits and activities will be calibrated to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), with a cross-disciplinary emphasis on science, technology, and engineering. Importantly, the kits will help address a need in Poudre School District for science that unifies teachers in delivering learning that reflects NGSS and supports their professional development. At the request of the science curriculum coordinator, we are designing the STEM Kits to encompass these elements — Hands-on projects. Lessons. Materials. Standards. Funding also would make possible workshops for educators in how to best use the kits and how to facilitate innovation in the classroom. Rotarians, given their professional experience, may wish to participate in delivering the professional development.
More About Pretty Brainy and How Our Mission Supports Rotary Clubs of Fort Collins:
Pretty Brainy catalyzes community by creating the learning needed to inspire and prepare young people to innovate, problem-solve, and lead in the 21st century. We are honored that, through Pretty Brainy, young people are forming companies, taking risks, teaching technology in the community, winning full-ride scholarships to colleges of their choice, and using design thinking to improve life for others.
We value the opportunity to partner with Rotary Clubs of Fort Collins, knowing that, in partnership, we all will realize the greatest potential for achievement.