The STEMsmart Movement
It starts with the students who rush into their math and science classrooms before the bell rings. They are eager to play—er, learn in their technology-rich classroom. Today’s guest speaker runs a local tech company that designs 3D video games—er, interactive education platforms to teach anatomy. This is a typical day in Sarasota and Charlotte county schools where science, technology, engineering, and math are championed through Gulf Coast Community Foundation's STEMsmart initiative. A few years ago, the Gulf Coast Board of Directors took a hard look at the question, “Are we doing the best we can for our students?” What we discovered was that students were not prepared for the jobs of the future. Jobs that will require proficiency in STEM disciplines. Taking a proactive step (as we always do at Gulf Coast), we developed and seeded STEMsmart, a partnership with the Sarasota and Charlotte county school districts, teachers, students, and businesses. The result has been a veritable movement in our community that has empowered 21st-century teachers, improved end-of-year exam scores, and inspired local businesses about their future employees.
Transforming Science and Math EducationSTEMsmart is transforming the way teachers teach and students learn math and science in Sarasota and Charlotte counties. The most visible transformation: the reinvented STEMsmart classrooms installed in middle schools across Sarasota County. These classrooms have state-of-the-art technology that makes learning interactive, collaborative, and immediate. Equipping every middle-school math and science classroom in Sarasota with this technology is a priority of Gulf Coast and our donors. With a challenge gift from an anonymous donor, the $25,000 cost of outfitting a classroom has been halved to $12,500. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the STEMsmart Classroom or go on a tour. Meanwhile, you can watch this short video to see a classroom transform before your eyes:
Become a STEMsmart Business Partner
Creating opportunities for teachers and students to connect with real world experiences is at the core of STEMsmart. This means connecting students with internships at local businesses and bringing businesses into the classroom to connect curriculum to careers. We welcome your business to connect with STEMsmart and to share how your company uses science, technology, engineering, and math in your everyday work. To meet a few of our current business partners and see how they are inspiring greatness in local students, please watch this video:
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