2022 Grants Challenge

Free, High Quality STEAM Curricula & Training For All

Our goal is to create free access to high quality STEAM curricula and training for K-12 educators by leveraging skills from engineers and educators throughout Los Angeles.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

There is a national push for Science Technology Education Art and Math (STEAM) learning opportunities for all kids. Progress is being made, however, the reality remains that there is an opportunity gap for disadvantaged students to learn STEAM. Secondly, there is a knowledge gap between educators and real-world engineers. It is a big challenge for teachers who have not worked in engineering to actually teach engineering. There are also engineers who want to help the STEAM push by sharing their knowledge, but they don't know how. Lastly, many STEAM curriculum/product solutions that are popular in K-12 education are cost prohibitive.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Our unique solution to bring real-world engineering skills to K-12 education is to create a collaborative between educators and real-world engineers. This collaborative would create open-source (free) curriculum and class material designs. This collaborative work could be done virtually and in-person via meetups where educators share their learning needs and engineers help come up with engineering projects and robotics kit designs to suit these needs. Engineers would donate their time just like they currently do for open-source hardware/software projects that exist in the real-world. The teachers would create curriculum around these projects, leveraging their expertise in teaching and writing curriculum. Here is an example of a project that has been on-going for 8 years. Project Info: https://hackaday.io/project/19641-barnabas-bot Open-source Curriculum: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bwi3TToI1ZE9aDFoUkx1Mm5tNWM?resourcekey=0-x1ZNPolfVMNav-9AEP6NGg&usp=sharing Access to these materials would be free for anyone to use and to modify. The class materials would also designed to use low-cost, open-source items that are freely available. Our team can also provide training for teachers who want to teach our curriculum. We are strong candidates to perform the training as we have both real-world engineering and teaching experience. Other open-source curricula that we've worked on over the past 8 years: https://www.barnabasrobotics.com/educators/curriculum/

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

With our program, LA schools would immediately have access to free, high-quality STEAM curricula as well as the opportunity to buy low-cost, open-source learning materials to teach STEAM.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

The impact can be measured by the number of teachers/schools using our free curriculum. We have had a handful teachers try our curriculum with success. However, would like the opportunity to create more curricula and to recruit more engineers and teachers to join our collaborative.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 100

Indirect Impact: 3,000