STEM Initiative with Challenger Learning Centers
On October 4, 2016, a STEM initiative kick-off event was held at the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, CA, made possible by Alcoa Foundation.
The Beating the Odds Foundation in partnership with the Challenger Learning Centers in Wheeling, WV and Downey California, is bringing the Quarterbacks of Life® Student Success & Leadership Program/STEM initiative to 300 students and 20 teachers from Los Angeles Unified School District, Downey Unified School District, Pasadena Unified School District, El Rancho Unified School District, and Inglewood Unified School District.
During the kick-off event, students and teachers were introduced to the initiative and activities that they will be participating in over the next several months.
BTO Founder and President Rocco Scalzi and Quarterback of Life Bob Wieland presented the “beating the odds” message during the October 4th event. Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University Director Jackie Shia and Lead Flight Director for the e-Missions Program, Lori Kudlak talked to the students about a long distance mission. Downey Challenger Learning Center Director Ben Dickow introduced the students to a Mars mission, which they will participate in at the Downey Challenger Learning Center in March 2017.
The Alcoa Foundation grant partnership is providing 300 students with a once in a lifetime opportunity. This experience will allow students to be introduced to a formula for success, be made aware of the possibilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) related careers, and allow STEM education to come to life. Ryan Kish, Program Manager, Alcoa Foundation, said, “This unique pairing of youth empowerment and STEM learning is designed to result in students that not only learn what STEM opportunities exist, but envision themselves in those exciting fields.”