Khan Academy, a nonprofit online education platform, has teamed up with the San Francisco 49ers STEAM Education program after originally declining the team’s proposal to join in 2012.
The STEAM program, curriculum centered around science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, teaming up with Khan Academy may take the program nationwide despite the rocky beginnings to the collaboration. Jesse Lovejoy, director of the STEAM program, recalls that there were no hard feelings but that Khan academy had been skeptical in the beginning.
The pair first began working together for the LearnStorm launch in 2015, writes 49ers staff on their website. This is the first professional sports team that Khan Academy has partnered with.
Jesse Lovejoy said “Khan Academy’s online learning platform is exceptional and we’re thrilled to work with them to take the next step in growing our STEAM Education Program. Khan Academy will enable our program to go beyond the walls of Levi’s Stadium and provide students who we couldn’t previously reach with unique, exciting content that combines STEAM with football.”
STEAM is in its third year of operation now showing over 90,000 students from K-8 the importance of the curriculum through applications to a professional sports team. The 49ers currently employ 17 teachers, five full time and 12 part time, to work on curriculum and lessons.
Ron Leuty writes for the San Francisco Times that the partnership of the two is designed to help Bay Area students. Teachers will be able to be able to continue lessons even after a student returns home by having the student access them via smartphone.
Sal Khan, the Khan Academy CEO and founder, said “The San Francisco 49ers have supported education for many years. We’re excited to make math and science lessons that are related to football widely available free for anyone, anywhere.”
In addition to the partnership, the 49ers have been busy setting up even more learning centers for students. A new STEM Fabrication Lab has been unveiled at Santa Clara High School. The lab is a collaboration between many different groups including Chevron, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and the Santa Clara Unified School District.
49ers co-chairman John York said “The Fab Lab at Santa Clara High School is a resource for inspiration for our future STEM leaders and the greater Santa Clara community. These students are excited by education, learning to be leaders and seeking solutions in their world. Further augmenting the 49ers Foundation’s mission to keep kids ‘Safe, On Track, and In School’ in support of helping young people reach their full potential, we are excited to continue our work with Chevron in environments that allow our 49ers STEM Leadership Institute students flourish.”
Even with the various interests and projects dividing their attention, the 49ers Foundation has stated they will make a $250,000 contribution to the Khan Academy. This will boost their own educational reach with their STEAM concepts and curriculum being hosted on Khan Academy and no longer keeping their educational limits to Levi’s Stadium.
In addition to these programs, the 49ers have also begun a summer camp program. This year the program ran from June 22 through June 24 as it hosted over 80 students and focused on STEM areas related to football in the hopes of extending their educational benefits.