An innovative program focused on combining career exploration and leadership development for middle school students has caught the attention of Fayette Visioning team leaders. A recent presentation by the creator of the E.S.T.E.A.M project, Dr. Vanessa Johnson, to a visioning Community implementation work group highlighted the exciting ways that this program closely aligns with several of Fayette Vision’s goal areas.
Dr. Johnson explains the concept: “E.S.T.E.A.M. stands for self-Esteem, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. E.S.T.E.A.M. is exploration, discovery and hands-on problem solving in a program designed to encourage Middle School girls to prepare for future success by raising their self-esteem, and by spending time exploring S.T.E.A.M. careers. These areas are underrepresented by girls and is much needed for girls who are at risk.”
“E.S.T.E.A.M. could be an innovative and enriching summer camp or after school program for Middle School girls. While the camp has an academic focus, it will be presented to campers in a hands on approach which includes self-esteem classes, the arts, field trips, and opportunities for students to interact with engineers, scientists, researchers, and other professionals sharing real life experiences in their field. Campers presentation and math skills will also be improved by focusing on their particular areas of weakness.”
Currently, the E.S.T.E.A.M idea is a finalist in The Community Foundation’s Ideas Challenge, competing for a portion of the $10,000 in awards. The top three vote winners who receive the most votes in the competition will be paired with a non-profit and awarded grants to implement their idea. We encourage you to vote — and you can vote once every 24 hours through July 9th! The winners will be announced on July 29th.
This innovative E.S.T.E.A.M. program concept is in alignment with several of Fayette Visioning’s implementation goals including 3.1.1 “Ensure K-12 students have access to leadership training opportunities” and 1.1.4 “Blend the offerings related to academic and technical education to provide models where knowledge is applied to real world settings thoughout k-12…institutions.”