Local Demographics: Pre-Launch Details
According to a report released from the United States Department of Commerce, only twenty-four percent of STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics) related jobs are currently held by women. That is less than one out of every four girls that will be involved in STEM related fields when they seek their careers after high school. Another research report completed in 2010 by Melissa Diane Creasy Fowler looked at the educational experience of three girls from a rural school who where advanced in science. The report pointed out many factors that influenced the girl's decisions on seeking an education in STEM areas. Some of the biggest factors for the girls were associated with the desire to stay close to home because of traditions and family values. Another concern was the lack of enriched instruction in science other than lecture style of learning. The girls in the study lacked the real life experiences in science. The school system they came from was so small that they did not offer advanced placement classes in the area of science.
Genesee is a mirror image of the studies that were done. It is a small farming town located in rural Latah County in Idaho. The K-12 school system has a little more than three hundred students. Needless to say, our girls do not have very many opportunities or access to hands-on science curriculum and activities other than those provided by their junior high and high school science math and technology teachers.
Fund Project Proposal: Mission Possible - Launching Girls Into Science
Launching girls into science is the goal of this fund. This project would establish a scholarship program that will give opportunities for the girls at our school to participate in a STEM based science camp in Alabama. Participation in Space Camp would be a springboard for the girls to become more involved and interested in STEM related fields while they are still in junior high and high school.
Even though we are in a small community we want to stop the cycle of non-hands and real life experiences in science. We want to create a grant that would be sustainable for years to come. Each year's recipients would pay forward their opportunity by raising funds and assisting the next year recipients so that someone else has the same opportunity that they had. We want to broaden the potential for our students. Open our students eyes to the immense amount of opportunities that are available to them. Most students don't know what they are capable of until they are given opportunities to explore their own potential. This fund would give them that chance.
The project being proposed would set up a foundation for a continued scholarship that would allow for a group of four girls to attend space camp in Alabama in the summer of 2014. The money would help fund an annual scholarship for two students to attend space camp for two years to follow. The scholarship would only cover the cost of camp admission and the team would be responsible for raising funds to support additional costs. The recipients should not be given everything. It is important that they earn their opportunity to attend space camp. Therefore, once the girls complete their week at space camp, they will be responsible for continued support and assistance in helping future recipients go to camp. Furthermore, the girls would be required to share their knowledge and experience with their school and assist in designing two activities during an art club meeting that would give younger students some opportunities in STEM related projects. We call this STEAM which incorporates STEM into art.
Camp Details: Launch Platform
The camp would take place before the start of their seventh grade year which would be a base for continued instruction in STEM fields in grades 7-12 before they graduate. The key to getting more girls involved in STEM fields is to get them involved in STEM based activities and enrichment at a younger age. The scholarship would not only provide an opportunity for hands on enrichment in STEM based fields, it would also give the girls an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with their peers. The girls would be responsible for helping raise enough funds to keep the scholarship going.
The students would of course, attend a six day space camp in Huntsville, Alabama. The camp will provide an opportunity to engage with other peers in science based activities through a team based problem solving approach. This camp would be a great opportunity to engage in job related skills development in STEM areas. The girls could use this experience as a foundation for a future in STEM related fields. They would be able to spend the next six years of their educational experience seeking more opportunities in STEM areas before they even graduate from high school thus being prepared for a decision on seeking a career in STEM before they even enter college.
Community Service: Launching Others Into Science
The group of girls would be expected to organize and present their experience the next school year with the elementary school to create interest for students in fifth and sixth grade to apply for the scholarship for the next year. This could be an elementary school assembly at the beginning of the school year or presentations to individual classrooms.
The girls would also be expected to design and implement two STEM related activities during our Spark Art Club STEAM activity day. This is an elementary art club that meets once per week to continue to develop artist talents for students' grades 1-6. The girls would meet with the program coordinator to come up with some ideas on topics covered at Space Camp to incorporate STEM related skills into an art class. This would give the girls an opportunity to create an activity based on their knowledge of skills learned from Space Camp.
Another activity the girls would be required to participate in would be helping raises funds to cover the cost of the next two Space Camps Scholarship recipients. The grant would cover the cost of most of the first year recipients but the girls would help continue to raise funds for the next three years. Each year two new students would join the fund raising group to help continue to fund future recipients of the scholarship. This is a very important part of the grant proposal. Not only is it important for these girls to attend Space Camp but it is important for them to share their excitement with their younger peers and pay back the opportunity they were provided by helping more students engage in STEM related camps and programs.
Fund Sustainability: Future Launches
To make the scholarship sustainable for the many years to come the original members of the first Space Camp group would be asked to help raise funds for an additional three years. Each student would be expected to raise at least $250 per students or $2000 dollars total to be used the next year to fund an additional group of students. Once the first set of girls complete their three year commitment we will have six new members to help continue to raise funds for future recipients. By creating an situation where the first set of girls attend camp through the help of this grant we can set up a process where each group of students pays back their opportunity by helping get the next set of students to attend Space Camp.
Scholarship Selection: Launch Countdown
A scholarship committee would be created and would include three members. One of the members should represent the STEM based areas of secondary education and one would represent the students experience in primary education. Only fifth or sixth grade would be accepted for the scholarship. The scholarships will be awarded based on the same four criteria used for Space Camps scholarships. Student can receive a scholarship based on academic excellence, leadership, special needs, or economically disadvantage. If no one from the fifth or sixth grade apply for the scholarship then it will be made available to any student grades 4-12.
Scholarships applications will be distributed at the beginning of the school year and application will be due by the end of October. Recipients will be awarded the scholarships by the end of November.
Thank you for your time and considerations we greatly appreciate this opportunity.
Genesee Space Camp Fund
March 30, 2014
Description Cost Per Student Total Cost
Transportation Costs $250.00 $1000.00
Next year's scholarship $500.00 $1000.00
Camp fees/supplies $200.00 $800.00
Total for Fund Request $2800.00