District - STEM Board
The district and the STEM Board are developing a unique relationship to bring STEM-related activities to our community. For years, similar programs have been in place for sports and arts but there are no reproducible examples of this type of program in our state. The programs that we have found are each too costly to provide access to all students or rely very heavily on state grants which have limited timeframes. As a result, we have been contacted by other parent groups and districts to see if they can re-create our program in their community.
The following list shows the key days for the fall term classes that involve the district . HS Instructor-led classes will be on Thursdays after-school. Parent-led labs will be on the following Tuesday evening. On Nov 30th, we will have all of the Lego Robotics classes get together at SHS for a SumoBot competition. On the same evening, our middle school FLL and high school FTC robotic teams will also be running a mock tournaments for everyone to see.
Historically, all of the registration fees for the after-school STEM classes have been placed in a Student Body Account (SBA) at each elementary school. These accounts were used to pay teacher stipends and purchase materials for the classes. After discussions with the district, it was determined that we would have a smoother registration process if we could move it online. As a result, the STEM Board has established a non-profit to handle both registration fees and grants from outside donors. The registration transactions are handled by PayPal and placed in the STEM Board's bank account. These funds will be used to pay for stipends and purchase class materials. Since it is a non-profit, we will make our statement available so anyone can see the cash flow. Hopefully, in the near future, we will also be able to purchase supplies for in-class STEM-related projects. For example, we currently working on a grant which would supply materials to Ms. Frankel's 6th grade STEM class.
Since there are two accounts (SBA and STEM Board) that serve a similar purpose, we would like to initially budget the stipends from the SBA accounts because the district has an existing process for handling this situation. We would also like to keep the SBA accounts at the school open because we anticipate volunteer hour donations that must go to the school. For example, Intel and Mentor Graphics donate money to schools based on the volunteer hours of their employees (and spouses in some cases) . Since the STEM board is recruiting a lot of volunteers from the hi-tech community, we anticipate the donations from volunteer hours to increase.
Similar to the Sports boosters, our goal is to provide the best STEM-related opportunities to the students in our community via after-school classes and donations to enhance our existing in-class offerings. We believe that we can raise $10K in corporate donations this year.