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Chevron Supports STEM to Inspire Future Leaders

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Robotics, 3D Printing and Game App Development among innovative and fun curriculum elements getting local students excited about Science and Math

Along with developing a world-class high-tech workforce, United Way’s STEM Education collaborative is a key element in the organization’s 10-year FACE 2024 community-wide action plan to cut Orange County’s high school dropout rate in half.

“We’re pleased to partner with United Way to offer STEM programming to our future leaders in science and technology,” announced Hector J. Infante, Chevron’s Manager, Policy, Public & Government Affairs and member of Orange County United Way’s Board of Directors.

Local students really enjoy taking classes like robotics, game app programming and 3D printing. “When learning is fun and harnesses kids’ imaginations and passions, they forget they’re in school and along the way acquire the very skills needed for career success,” explained Sergio Contreras, Director of Education, Orange County United Way.

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Now more seventh and eighth grade students have access to after-school STEM programming for the first time, thanks to a grant from Chevron. The $75,000 grant to the United Way-led partnership allows expansion of the program to select intermediate schools.

“We’ve enjoyed our partnership with Orange County United Way to offer STEM programming aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and the opportunities it affords our students to deepen their interest in science and math,” said Teri Rocco, Vice-President of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education. “Now, thanks to Chevron generosity, we’ve expanded these exciting and fun after-school programs to students throughout the District.”

United Way and the District teamed up with BrainStorm, an Irvine-based science and math academy, to provide more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning opportunities for students at select District schools. These programs create engaging and exciting learning opportunities that prepare students for the 21st century workforce. From robotics, engineering and rocketry to computer programming, app/game development and 3D printing, kids have fun while learning vital career skills.

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Courses can be taught either by classroom teachers or BrainStorm STEM education team members. Examples of courses include:

  • 3D Printing: Students are led through the process of creating one small object such as a keychain they can keep and take home.
  • Game Apps: Students learn computer programming to create game apps they can then play with their friends.
  • Robotics: Students learn how to program a Lego robot to navigate through a maze and drop a ball into a hole; some students engage in “Battle Bots” games.

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STEM programming has been developed to inspire and encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. These fields are expected to grow exponentially and play increasing important roles in the high-tech future.

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Along with developing a world-class high-tech workforce, United Way’s STEM Education collaborative is a key element in the organization’s 10-year FACE 2024 community-wide action plan to cut Orange County’s high school dropout rate in half.

Support STEM education by sharing this post or making a financial contribution to United Way’s Community Impact Fund.

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