San Mateo County Board of Supervisors honored local teachers and non-profit organizations for their accomplishments in engaging students in-school and out-of-school in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs at public schools during a reception on Tuesday, March 15, in Redwood City.
The Math & Science Teacher Innovation Award, Out-of-School STEM Program Grant, and Stanford University Industry Initiatives for Math and Science Education Teacher Internship Program help ensure that San Mateo County is promoting and improving student achievement and teacher excellence in math and science by employing creative strategies to engage and inspire students.
The award recipients serve more than 1,020 San Mateo County youth annually.
The 2015-2016 Math and Science Innovation Grant allows STEM educators to try new methods to engage youth in minds-on STEM learning through youth driven exploration of STEM topics.
The reception included project presentations by students and grant recipients. In the Brisbane School District, Ms. Hong’s students worked on a project that taught them about plant and animal interactions in an aquaponics ecosystem. There were four grant recipients for the $100,000 Out-of-School grants. The Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula had the opportunity to share their Expanded Learning Time program at the award presentation. This year, five San Mateo County high school science teachers were chosen to be Stanford IISME Summer Interns.
“The STEM program is making a difference in the lives of so many of our students, and it continues to be a funding priority for our Board of Supervisors,” said Co-Chair of the Math and Science Workgroup, Supervisor Carole Groom. “As our local economy expands, more careers in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields are being created. San Mateo County continues to lead the way in supporting education in these areas so our students grow up with the skills needed to fulfill jobs in technology and knowledge-driven industries. It is critical that our youth are equipped with the tools to seize the opportunities by becoming the innovators of tomorrow.”
Facilitated through the County’s Human Services Agency’s STEM program, the Workgroup provides direction for the Innovation Funds as part of its mission to encourage collaborations between the County, cities, schools and businesses to build a strong workforce responsive to changes and demands in STEM innovation.
The Board of Supervisors has committed about half a million dollars annually for STEM programs and encourages collaborations between the County, cities, schools and businesses to build a strong workforce responsive to changes and demands in STEM innovation. The goals of the STEM program are to prepare San Mateo County youth for STEM careers, support STEM career pathways and develop hands-on learning opportunities for K-12 youth, and to address the growing demand for a strong STEM workforce in the Bay Area.
"The Teacher Innovation Fund spurs creativity, rewards quality teaching, and funds STEM projects designed by our county’s teachers who want to engage their students more deeply in hands-on learning projects that exceed the bounds and budgets of their classrooms. It’s great for our teachers – and even better for our kids!” stated District 4 Supervisor Warren Slocum.
A full list of the selected 2015-16 educators, projects, and schools, as well as award amounts is available at: http://hsa.smcgov.org/school-stem-programs.