Full STEAM Ahead!: STEAM Education at BGCP
Full STEAM Ahead! is a staple of BGCP’s year-round programming and provides enriching, innovative, and accessible STEAM education for all members. Full STEAM Ahead! provides an array of activities across various disciplines and includes Robo Tech (Robotics), Engineering Challenges, Image Makers/Movie Makers, and Visual Arts. Full STEAM Ahead! offers unique opportunities for members to explore STEAM through hands-on activities, ignite interest in STEAM-related careers, and develop life-long passions for STEAM.
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?
San Gabriel Valley
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?
The issue BGCP is addressing is the accessibility to high-quality STEAM programming for underserved youth in the Pasadena community. 69% of BGCP’s members are from low to moderate income households, 93% identify as non-white, and many will be the first in their families to attend college. After-school programs in low-income communities expose students to activities that instill the skills and values that matter most for upward mobility. Participation in extracurricular activities has been shown to be no less important than test scores for predicting educational attainment and accumulated earnings 10 years later (Harvard Kennedy School, 2016). In addition, STEAM-focused programs such as those provided by the Club, aim to ignite interest in STEAM among youth and ultimately help to close the gap in underrepresentation of people of color in STEAM fields.
Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.
BGCP offers high-quality, affordable programming and opportunities for members to experience STEAM activities beyond the classroom and develop a passion for STEAM, leading to post-secondary education and exciting career opportunities. This grant will support BGCP’s Full STEAM Ahead! Program as described below: Robo Tech teaches members teambuilding, trigonometry, and hands-on technical skills in building robots to perform prescribed actions through FIRST Robotics. Engineering Challenges provide hands-on projects using a cross-disciplinary approach that channels young people’s natural curiosity and empowers youth to create new solutions to real-world challenges. This project-based approach develops critical thinking, problem-solving and other 21st-century skills critical to success in the STEM workforce and beyond. Image Makers teaches members all about black-and-white, color, digital, and alternative process photography. Activities are tailored to different skill levels and offer an opportunity for Club members to enter an annual photography contest with local, regional and national recognition. Movie Makers teaches members the storytelling and digital arts skills necessary for creating and producing movies. The Visual Arts program provides members with myriad experiences with different types of visual art, including drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, and collage. Members learn about famous artists and styles, practice their skills, and exhibit their creations.
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
LA County will be different if our work is successful because more children and youth in our community will develop interest in and excitement around STEAM education. Members may be inspired to pursue STEAM education, and in some cases in areas that they may not have had the opportunity to be exposed to without BGCP. As well as assisting in creating a love of lifelong learning, the Club’s STEAM activities may strengthen members’ desires to pursue post-secondary education. After more than two years of disruptions to traditional in-classroom learning, including school closures which resulted in learning loss for many students, especially those from lower income families, the Full STEAM Ahead! Program provides unique opportunities to advance STEAM knowledge and increase interest in STEAM-related careers. This in turn assists members in developing skills to join 21st century workforce, enabling members to reach their full potential of productive, caring, healthy and responsible citizens.
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
BGCP's Academic Success programming, including the Full STEAM Ahead! Program, is designed to achieve the following outcomes: 100% of Club seniors graduate on-time from high school (98% of high school seniors graduated on-time from high school in 2021) 100% of Club seniors apply for post-secondary education (96% of Club seniors applied for post-secondary education during the 2020-2021 school year) BGCP also assesses members annually across a host of indicators through the National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI) of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Surveys assess members’ Club experiences, academic progress, and other areas. These Key indicators were added to the survey in 2021, and the Club’s goal is a 5-10% increase in 2022 and annually each year: I enjoy learning new things. In 2021, 56% of members rated this as very true, and 39% as sort of true. I choose activities that push me to learn new things. In 2021, 38% of members rated this as very true, and 45% as sort of true.
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 1,000
Indirect Impact: 4,000