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C'ville STEM: Support Schools in COVID times

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With the recent BLM movement one of the actionable items that had arisen from several UVA faculty members who met to take a knee at the enslaved workers memorial a few weeks ago was to help identify and systematically help increase STEM engagement in URM/POC communities at the Elementary School Level in the Charlottesville City Schools.

With COVID and the question of home vs. in school teaching, a major concern has been how this will worsen disparities in families who already have less in-home educational resources. We have been working with the Charlottesville City Schools STEM coordinators to help brainstorm and have identified a solution of this need by planning the delivery of home STEM boxes (basic supplies such as: Measuring Tape, Scissors, Thermometer, Spring Scale Masking Tape, Scotch Tape, Duct Tape, Measuring Cups).
We are prioritizing STEM education as the schools have identified this as an integral part of an elementary student's development. When students come to STEM labs in each of their schools they can choose from many tools and materials to complete their projects. When learning transitioned to the home it was apparent access to those same tools and materials was unequal and that the projects and challenges needed to be adjusted. The Charlottesville City Schools STEM team has determined that with a few materials the students have the capability to complete a wide range of projects and challenges. Tools and materials provided by this project supplemented with materials from each school will provide a robust STEM box to each student. With each student receiving a STEM box their teachers can be sure every student has an equal opportunity to engage with the STEM curriculum and attain the same learning outcomes.

This $30,000 fundraiser will provide home STEM box supplies for a total of 1500-2100 children from grades K through 4 for the ENTIRE year from all SIX C’ville City Schools!

Thank you for your consideration and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments.

Sana Syed, MD MS
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
University of Virginia School of Medicine

Nigel Standish, PhD
Director of Science, Engineering, and STEM
Charlottesville City Schools

Mark Fleming II, MD
General Surgery Resident
University of Virginia School of Medicine 


- Please contact us via the GoFundMe link below

- In a total of 6 schools with having a total of ~ 250-350 students per year 
- Entire year = Fall 2020 through Spring 2021

- Funds raised will supplement new materials to add to existing supplies in school STEM labs which will then constitute the home STEM boxes

- Here are more details about the iSTEM program and the teachers who are part of the team which came up with the home STEM box project idea:

- For those interested in directly buying the requested supplies, please see our list: – we would be happy to help coordinate collection of any purchased items  

- To see an example Sample STEM Strand and Project please see the following document:

Additional Details Requested by GoFundMe:

1- Your plan for ensuring your campaign’s donations to their intended recipients
Reply: The donations will be directly given to our intended recipient - the Charlottesville City Schools STEM program which is led by Dr Nigel Standish, Director of Science, Engineering, and STEM, Charlottesville City Schools
[email redacted]

2- A detailed explanation of how the funds will be spent
Reply: The google sheet on our website (
outlines exactly the items which we will be buying - the cost of each item, how many of each item and the link where these supplies are planned to be ordered from. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further details! 



    • $216 
    • 4 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 4 yrs
  • Rupa Valdez
    • $75 
    • 4 yrs
  • Steven Johnson
    • $100 
    • 4 yrs
  • Merkle Charlottesville
    • $200 
    • 4 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Sana Syed
Charlottesville, VA
Nigel Standish

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