ENGINEERING FOR KIDS OF HAMPTON ROADS, VERIZON FOUNDATION & THE ENGINEERING FOR KIDS FOUNDATION PROVIDES ADDITIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNDERSERVED/AT-RISK CHILDREN IN CHESAPEAKE AND NORFOLK
CHESAPEAKE,VA – Engineering For Kids of Hampton Roads in Chesapeake, Va. – this Chesapeake based franchise offering a range of science, technology, math and engineering related learning programs, is excited to expand the programs of their 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Engineering For Kids Foundation into the Hampton Roads area.
The Foundation was created in 2014 as an opportunity for Engineering For Kids to provide free S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programming to children in underserved communities. The Foundation’s Mentorship Program is a program that will pair high school students from Grassfield High School “Governor’s STEM Academy” with middle school students from Hugo Owens Middle School to tackle hands-on S.T.E.M. programs at no cost. These programs are being offered to students by Engineering For Kids of Hampton Roads through a Verizon Foundation Grant.
The high school and elementary students will spend 6-weeks together building, programming, and testing LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Robots. During these Robo Battle classes students will create, program, and control robots designed to perform a different challenge every week culminating with a SumoBots Challenge.
“Through this program, we strive to ignite a passion in students about science, technology, engineering, and math, at a young age and put them on the track to succeed in a S.T.E.M. related career. With the decline of students pursing degrees in S.T.E. M. employeers are having a hard time finding qualified individuals to fill the jobs in these fields resulting in them having to find qualified candidates that are not from the United States. This is a travisty and we are working to “Inspire the Next Generation of Engineers through our programs .” Angel Jones , Executive Director of Engineering For Kids of Hampton Roads.
The Engineering For Kids Foundation, designed to provide S.T.E.M. education opportunities to at-risk youth, received a $4,000 grant from the UPS Foundation to support two Mentorship Programs.
The Engineering For Kids Foundation’s Mentorship Program is a way to offer S.T.E.M. education to children who may not typically be able to afford extracurricular activities. Elementary school students are paired with high school students and work side by side on traditional Engineering For Kids lessons. Students receive advice, support, and encouragement from their mentors during the 6 week program.
The UPS Foundation funds specific organizations focused on enhancing opportunities for higher education, economic empowerment, mentorship and inclusion for underserved or underrepresented segments of society. In 2015, The UPS Foundation donated $12.6 million to non-profit organizations that align with the four pillars of their diversity and inclusion giving strategy.
Foundation's Mentorship Program is expanding to California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Illinois
Beginning in March, Engineering For Kids Locations across the United States are set to hold the second pilot phase of the Engineering For Kids Foundation Mentorship Program
Back in November, the Engineering For Kids Foundation held our first annual Fundraising Gala in Woodbridge, Virginia. From that event we were able to raise $10,000 to support our Mentorship Program. One of our Sponsors, Kids Connect Network, also donated money to help us with the expansion of this program.
The Mentorship Program is run by Engineering For Kids franchise owners as a way for them to give back to their own communities and make STEM education available for all children. During this second pilot phase, the Engineering For Kids Foundation is completely funding these programs.
Specific locations in each state offering this program include:
The Foundation hopes to make this program available to all domestic locations by 2017. Through support from our sponsors and donors we can make STEM education accessible to all children.
Kevin, a full time Mechanical Engineer and Formula SAE Race Car Driver has become inspired by the work done by the Engineering For Kids Foundation.
Kevin Zielezinski, a full time Mechanical Engineer and driver of the number 12 in the Jegs/CRA-Allstars Tour in the Chicago area with KMZ Motorsports, has agreed to donate a portion of his racing income to help support the Engineering For Kids Foundation and all the work we do to support STEM education.
Throughout Kevin's life he has been extremely passionate about the way the world works. He played with LEGO's as many future engineers do as far back as his memory can take him. Then Kevin had the dream of becoming race car driver. He is now able to live out this dream from the help of his mentors, advice, and experiences that becoming a Mechanical Engineer has given him. Before becoming a graduate from Northern Illinois, he was very passionate about STEM education awareness. Now that his career has kicked off, and he is able to race, it's time for him to give back to the community and help us inspire the next generation of engineers.
Kevin will be joining the Engineering For Kids Foundation at the Stafford Science and Engineering Festival this April as an exhibitor.
The Engineering For Kids Foundation is proud to support Kevin's endorsement on and off the race track and we look forward to the growth of this partnership.
The Stafford Science and Engineering Festival is set to be held at Stafford Regional Airport on April 23rd, 2016 from 11:00am-4:00pm. Former NASA Astronaut Dr. Thomas Jones will be in attendance on stage speaking about his journey through space and the importance of STEM education.
Dr. Jones will be on stage speaking twice throughout the day, once at 12:00pm and then again at 2:00pm. When he is not speaking on stage, Dr. Jones will be at an exhibitor booth promoting his most recent book and taking photos with those attending the festival. Join us at the event to learn about his amazing story, and even get an autographed copy of his book!
Also on stage we will have two performances from Reptiles Alive!, kids and families will have the chance to get up close and personal with some awesome reptiles at 1:00pm and then again at 3:00pm. We will also have science demonstrations on stage from Eric Energy at 11:30am and 1:30pm, be sure to stop by his booth in between his shows to make your own slime!
Organization Chosen by Local Staples Associate to Benefit from Staples
The Engineering For Kids Foundation has been awarded $1,000 by Staples Foundation, the private charitable arm of Staples, Inc., under a program that lets Staples associates direct donations.
The grants are part of a philanthropic initiative created by Staples Foundation which allows Staples associates around the world to direct funding to non-profit organizations that are focused on education or job skills. The program encourages local community engagement by awarding larger grants to organizations where associates are highly engaged in volunteering or
fundraising – up to $25,000 per organization.
The program, called 2 Million and Change, awards funds to organizations around the world, reaching more than $2 million in grants by the end of the year. In 2014, associates globally directed more than $2.4 million of Staples Foundation grants to over 1,000 non-profit organizations.
The Engineering For Kids Foundation will be hosting the Stafford Science and Engineering Festival in partnership with Stafford County Economic Development on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016.
The event will feature exhibitors providing hands-on STEM activities for children ages K-8. We are encouraging exhibitors to showcase the careers within their organizations to get children excited about pursuing a degree and career in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.
Also at the event there will be contests for each grade level, a LEGO building contest, live demonstrations and shows, and an area for vendors and food trucks.
The festival will be held at Stafford Regional Airport and is free to attend.
We are currently seeking corporate sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, and volunteers. Please visit www.staffordsciencefest.org to sign up to participate in this event.
This past school year, in 2015, the Engineering For Kids Foundation launched a pilot of a Mentorship Program. This program pairs high school students with at-risk elementary school students and allows them to perform the hands-on activities from the Engineering For Kids curriculum for free.
Currently, not enough students are graduating with STEM degrees to fill the open jobs in the market. During the next decade, the demand for scientists and engineers is expected to grow at four times the rate of all other jobs. If we spark the interest of STEM subjects early, students are more likely to continue on this path into later years and fill those jobs needed in our market.
The Mentorship Program gives students a different outlook on learning by allowing them to learn about STEM fields from someone who is not much older than them, and also has a interest in these topics. Mentors are there to give advice, provide support, and give the student another person in their life they can rely on.
So far this program has been launched in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania, Virginia. Soon it will be available across the globe.