LAS VEGAS – Middle school students at Nevada public schools will have access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM 101) curriculum, thanks to a generous gift from The STEM Academy, Inc., an internationally known and respected organization advancing economic development by improving STEM literacy to meet future workforce needs.
The donation announced during Business + Education (BE) Engaged Summit, came as a result of requests from leaders at Bank of Nevada and First Independent Bank, who are directly involved in statewide efforts to expand STEM curriculum and improve educational performance in Nevada. Bank of Nevada and First Independent Bank are both divisions of Western Alliance Bank.
Providing this curriculum for a three-year licensing term, and at no cost to 88 middle schools in Nevada, is a financial donation of more than $1.4 million dollars. The majority of the middle schools that will benefit from this gift, 58 facilities, are within the Clark County School District, which is the fifth largest school district in the United States.
“We believe this generous donation from The STEM Academy is a game changer for Nevada students and also illustrates what happens when business leaders get involved in education,” said John Guedry, CEO of Bank of Nevada. “By exposing these students to STEM 101 curriculum, at a crucial time in their learning experience, we hope to trigger a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, which can put these students ahead of others in the years to come.”
In partnership with Nevada economic development offices, The STEM Academy curriculum helps to create a pipeline of future STEM-educated workers based on the state’s strategic goals and projected workforce needs. The educational framework benefits those students choosing a pathway directly into industry, as well as those who choose post-secondary advancement. Additionally, STEM 101 curriculum has shown to improve performance among under-represented minority and low-income students, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates and increase high school graduation.
“The STEM Academy is providing quality instructional materials for the next generation science standards,” said Pat Skorkowsky, Superintendent of the Clark County School District. “This gift will move Nevada middle schools toward the New Nevada.”
“STEM 101 is a tremendous gift that fits nicely into Governor Sandoval’s vision to make Nevada’s students college and career ready,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction. “STEM 101 is an extremely valuable benefit for our Nevada middle school students in the realm of STEM education whether in school, after-school or during summer programs. With the support of our community, this program will allow 88 middle schools in Nevada to engage in collaboration with real-world settings and experiences together with an enriched instructional process that connects multiple core disciplines to bring STEM to life.”
The donated curriculum will be combined with additional funding from the State of Nevada and the Clark County School District to provide the needed accompanying materials for students, some of which can be utilized in subsequent years.