Teaching is tough! Especially teaching STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math). In fact a recent study identified significant obstacles elementary schools face when they try to create world class hands-on STEM programs. Some of the obstacles include:
· Many K-8 teachers have anxiety about teaching coding, applied mathematics, and hands-on science.
· Many K-8 teachers want to get their students involved in high quality hands-on STEM programs, but can’t find professional training or mentors.
· Many K-8 teachers say the traditional schedule makes it hard to find time in the school day for STEM activities;
· Questions K-8 Teachers ask about STEM:
How do I teach coding?
What’s the best way to teach engineering & design?
How about group problem-solving and the “scientific method”?
How can I get my students to use math in the real world?
What grade are children ready to start coding with robots? As young as kindergarten! Ok, but which robot should I choose?
What about a curriculum?
Where do I find the lab space, the funding?
How do we fit hands-on STEM into our busy schedule?
In 2017 I started a non-profit, the California Math & Science Challenge , to provide training and resources to help teachers in California and across the United States overcome the obstacles that stop us from getting more kids “playing the game” of Math & Science. By introducing children to STEM in elementary school we can give them a lifelong head start, increase diversity in STEM careers, and help our children remain competitive.
Help me help the teachers! My name is Jeff Major and I have been a STEM teacher in the United States and internationally for nearly 20 years. I have created curriculum for Robotics-Based STEM Programs (Programming, Problem-solving, Applied Math, & Engineering-Design); hosted dozens of Robotics Tournaments; and trained hundreds of teachers— all on a volunteer basis while working as a full time teacher. Recently, the demand for STEM startup help has become so great that I decided to leave classroom teaching and concentrate on helping K-8 teachers and school leaders build their own sustainable, Robotics-Based STEM programs.
In 2017-2018, though teaching full time, I managed to help ten different K-8 schools start and sustain new Robotics-Based STEM programs; host or emcee five regional robotics tournaments; and help introduce over 300 young students to the joy of hands-on STEM.
· With your support through donations, I can step away from the classroom and double— or triple— that number in the 2018-2019 school year!
· Help me empower more schools, teachers and students by providing them with the training, peer-networks, mentorship, curriculums, equipment and other tools they need to set up world class Robotics-Based STEM programs: Programming • Problem-Solving • Applied Mathematics • Engineering-Design!
So what does $10,000 allow us to do? Well I’m glad you asked:
To help schools create successful, self-sustaining Robotics-Based STEM programs, I provide in-depth multiday professional development training along with at least two separate onsite visits throughout the school year. I estimate these trainings to cost around $2500 per school. So for $10,000 we can add five new schools to the CA Math & Science Teacher Network.
In this way:
Teachers build upon their initial understandings and develop enduring conceptual understanding for STEM content and pedagogy
Teachers learn that there is a community of enthusiastic and likeminded teachers whom they can access for help, guidance and overall support.
If a teacher retires, moves, etc. the cluster of trainees are more readily able to “fill the gap” and thus insure that the programs are self sustaining.
Teachers strengthen their school’s curriculum so that STEM programs are both horizontally aligned across the entire grade level as well as vertically aligned across separate grade levels.But wait there’s more…
· For every $125, that’s one more Pro-bot® robot that I can purchase for use in my K-2 Early Learning Advantage teacher training sessions;
· For every $200, I can refurbish a laptop and donate it to teachers to use exclusively in their STEM program. We teach every child to code in the C language, teachers need dedicated computers to run effective robotics-based STEM (no shared computers = happy STEM teachers!)
· For every $300, you can help me rent the tournament hall so I can host local area competition that allows newly trained 3rd-5th students to demonstrate their new engineering skills at an exciting CA Math & Science Challenge & Jr Botball Challenge Event.
· For every $500, that’s one more Junior Botball Challenge robot that I can purchase for use at both in the 3rd-8th grade teacher training sessions.
My work is not just about robots, or engineering, or math for that matter. I seek to help K-8 teachers to “get kids playing the game” of math, coding, engineering, and science at an early age; to help them fall in love with STEM and become lifelong “players,” to break the cycles of inequity that are pervasive throughout our education system. Our programs and curriculum are available for all — but our emphasis is on helping underserved communities and promoting both excellence and diversity:
#GirlsWhoCode #STEM4All #EquitableEducation #EquityForAll
Funding is needed ASAP as we have identified 15 underserved San Diego* schools who need more Professional Development training, robots, video resources, curriculum for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. Additionally we held only 2 local area tournaments in 2 different locations throughout San Diego and the goal is to broaden our reach to at least 5 different events with stronger involvement from USD, SDSU & UCSD.
I appreciate and all support that you can give. No donation is too small and all proceeds go towards helping all students.
*Note: In addition to holding local and regional workshops, I intend to make CA Math & Science Challenge resources and training videos available free of charge to teachers throughout the US and the World!
- GoFundMe Team
- Peter Wayson
- Todd Terrazas
- Bob Duffield
- Eric Curtis
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more