STEM-Up program excites students in Los Angeles

Corps takes Roosevelt High School students from a traditional classroom experience to a STEM infusion during a Viva Technology workshop in Los Angeles Jan. 20.

LOS ANGELES--A vision comes to life as students from Roosevelt High School's STEM and Math and Science Academy trade in their traditional classroom environment for a full day of STEM infusion during a Viva Technology workshop Jan. 20.

DoD challenged leadership to establish an interconnected value chain of learning opportunities for our fastest growing population. The concept of how to get there may have been unclear, but the "who" and "why" was clearly defined.

Today, through DoD funding and support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Great Minds in STEM delivers a multitude of STEM awareness programs to 20 schools within the Boyle Heights community of Los Angeles.

The STEM-Up pilot program is one way DoD and the Army increases STEM appeal and interest among students, improving the pipeline into STEM career fields and securing the nation's economic future.

During this Viva Technology program, students engage in hands-on competitive and educational exercises designed to help them understand the connections between their math and science studies and rewarding STEM careers. Workshops integrate exercises with real success stories from minority and women scientists, engineers or other STEM-related professionals.

Social and economic barriers may differ among communities, but the need to establish a connection for students and families between STEM and every day, real-life issues is universal. So, too, is the need to excite students about the careers available and the impact they can make with a solid STEM foundation.

Reading about STEM education and careers is one way to learn. Listening to speakers and role models might be another. But for students, understanding how they fit, seeing how STEM impacts they way they live, what they have, and the benefits they may realize by pursuing these professions can be more effective.

"What we're looking for with you is to introduce you to some of the things we do in the Army Corps of Engineers where a STEM degree might be very helpful," said Col. Mark Toy, commander of the Los Angeles District.

"And that they see the possibilities and that they see themselves as a Colonel Toy, or anybody else that comes up there, a civil engineer; that they can transport themselves to that person and say, 'That can be me, that will be me,' and that they reach for that dream," said Silvia Tovar, STEM High School principal.

Whether a STEM professional, an educator, administrator or college role model, GMiS recognizes it takes a community to influence change and success among our future leaders and STEM professionals.

Thanks to DoD and the Corps, our contract administrator GMiS continues to significantly impact the young minds in the Boyle Heights community. STEM-Up is turning a vision into reality.

Page last updated Wed April 4th, 2012 at 10:38