Bringing STEM Education to Local School Districts
The Josh Seidel Memorial Foundation is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Institute for School Partnership at Washington University. We will be teaming up in an effort to help jump start STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) interest and Maker Education at the elementary school level in the St. Louis area.
The Maker Education movement promotes a hands-on approach to developing skills both directly and indirectly related to the pillars of STEM learning. Todays employers report major deficiencies in critical thinking, creative confidence in problem solving, effective collaboration, comfort with risk-taking, learning from failure, and digital literacy. These issues are multiplied for students coming from challenged districts. The Foundation and the Institute for School Partnership intend to help enable this type of active learning by developing mobile Makerspaces and making them available to school districts with limited resources that would not otherwise have access to this type of innovative learning.
The Josh Seidel Memorial Foundation is proud to make a financial contribution in order to help build these customizable toolkits, essentially Makerspaces-In-a-Box, in order to expose students from various districts around the St Louis area to this innovative, experiential approach to STEM learning.
The funds will go towards purchasing tools, microcontrollers and 3-D printers along with the development of easily adaptable and meaningful curriculum. The Institute for School Partnership has identified several potential partner school districts and we look forward to getting the project off the ground in the near future.
Eric Fritsche, President of the Josh Seidel Memorial Foundation, is excited about the partnership and how it aligns with their mission: “As a Foundation, we have been searching for ways to produce the ‘ripple effect’ desired with our charitable giving. I believe working with the ISP and STEMPact provides us that distribution channel. This opportunity aligns perfectly with our mission statement and we know Josh would be proud to have his legacy carried forward in this way. Helping others is one of the Foundation’s pillars and having the opportunity to do so through the promotion of STEM education at challenged school districts in the St. Louis area is pretty special,” Fritsche said.
Stay tuned for more information as this program continues to develop. As always, thank you to all of the Foundation’s supporters. Your generosity enables us to carry Josh’s legacy forward by supporting incredible programs like this one.