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Science @ OC Receives More Than $30,000 from Orange County United Way to Continue Support for Science Education in Santa Ana Middle Schools

SANTA ANA, Calif. — July 22, 2015 — Science @ OC, the Orange County non-profit dedicated to strengthening science education in Orange County’s public middle schools, announced that is has received a $32,000 grant from Orange County United Way.

The grant will provide continued support for Science @ OC’s partnership with Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) educators to improve and enhance the district’s middle school science programs.

“We are extremely grateful to United Way for the support it has provided toward our efforts in Santa Ana,” said Sue Neuen, Science @ OC’s executive director. “Funding and support from United Way over the past five years in SAUSD has undoubtedly been one of a number of key factors in the significant improvement in Santa Ana middle school student scores on the California Standards Test  in science.”

“Science engages and encourages students to think critically and logically,” said Sergio Contreras, Senior Education Manager, Orange County United Way.  “We are proud to partner with Science @ OC because we know that the work they are engaged in encourages students to explore solutions.  By building upon foundational skills, students are better able to answer complex questions, investigate global issues and develop solutions for challenges and real-world problems. Often these kinds of challenges help to spark interest in STEM fields for students who might otherwise not have exposure to these kinds of 21st century resources.”

United Way’s investment in STEM-related programs is one of the key elements to the organization’s Education goal to cut the high school dropout rate in half by 2024.  As part of United Way’s 10-year community-wide action plan, FACE 2024, the organization is collaborating with partners who share similar objectives to help advance the county’s Education, Income, Health and Housing conditions. United Way’s investment could be seen last week at Science @ OC’s NGSS Implementation Institute where 32 SAUSD teachers were diving into the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and designing units of study to use in their classrooms this fall.

“It’s exciting to see the teachers so engaged, just like their students will be, as together they explore and experience the critical thinking, trial and error and problem-solving of engineering, a key component of the NGSS,” said Neuen.

About Science @ OC

Science @ OC, a fiscally sponsored project of OneOC, partners with Orange County educators to inspire middle school students to excel in Science and explore STEM careers. Visit the Science @ OC website at www.scienceoc.org for more information.

ABOUT ORANGE COUNTY UNITED WAY

Since 1924, Orange County United Way has been working to improve lives and strengthen our community by mobilizing the caring power of Orange County and focusing on the building blocks for a good quality of life: Education, Income, Health and Housing. By investing  in Orange County children, families and individuals, we help them create pathways to self-sufficient lives. In short, we help people help themselves. Through our 10-year community-wide action plan, “FACE 2024” (an acronym for Fund, Advocate, Collaborate, Educate), we collaborate with local businesses, community organizations, governmental agencies and individuals to make a long-term measurable difference in the lives of local individuals and families. To learn more or to join our movement, visit www.unitedwayoc.org.  

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