The San Francisco 49ers' aren't just about football — the team has developed a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative along with Chevron to boost learning opportunities for nearby students. The 49ers staff is working with 60 students from Cabrillo Middle School through the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute's Chevron STEM Zone:
"When we broke ground on Levi's ® Stadium 26 months ago, an idea started germinating about doing something really significant in the community commensurate with when we were cutting the ribbon on Levi's ® Stadium," said Joanne Pasternack, director of community relations & 49ers Foundation. "We went through a number of ideas, but the item that really resonated with our ownership and with the 49ers Foundation and our mission, was taking outstanding kids who are under resourced and helping them have the opportunity to become absolutely exceptional and to do amazing things in their life."
The Chevron STEM Zone is an interactive space that will allow students to learn how math, science, engineering, and science connect to everyday life.
The Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) and the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) developed the zone as part of a $4 million investment made by the 49ers Foundation and Chevron. In addition to this classroom, the grant from Chevron will support STEM education at the Denise DeBartolo York Education Center's Chevron STEM Zone at the 49ers Museum, teaching young people the Science of Football.
The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, funded by the NFL organization, Chevron, and other partners, will provide academically talented students, from under-resourced areas, the tools by which they can enhance their talents in the STEM fields.
The recruits are seventh-grade students (the class of 2020) who show academic talents from SCUSD. "The Institute will then prepare them to engage in scientific research, impactful community-changing projects, or become entrepreneurs—putting them on the path to pursue a STEM major at a top-tier university."
Robert Haugh of The Santa Clara Weekly adds that there were 111 applicants for the six-year program, who were carefully selected. Muhammed Chaudhry, SVEF president and CEO, said the application process was similar to that of applying to Stanford University.
"Nurturing students starting in middle school will better prepare them to achieve entry to top-tier universities and inspire them to become Silicon Valley's next generation of leaders and innovators."
The curriculum will be challenging and aimed at preparation for college. The lab will be outfitted with digital fabrication devices like 3D-printers and laser cutters, robotics kits, laptops, tablets and other cutting edge technologies. Preparations are being made which will allow the program to continue past the six year program and on through high school.