Research shows that exposure to STEM has positive impacts across the entire spectrum of learning. Early math knowledge not only predicts later math success, it also predicts later reading achievement. However, not all children have consistent opportunities to experience STEM outside of traditional school coursework. To increase the local labor pool of STEM workers, including an emphasis on skilled trades, two major milestones were achieved in 2018:
- Inaugural STEM program launched at the YWCA-QC, open to all children (grades 2 and above), with a focus on girls and children of color. EXAMPLES: “Day of Coding” where over 35 youth participated and learned the basics of coding; “Music in Motion” and “Wheels in Motion” are two separate curriculums by SAE International.
- Skilled-trade initiative launched by the Quad Cities Engineering & Science Council to broaden awareness and concern by Industry of inadequate skilled trades talent in the Quad Cities.
In 2020, the YWCA Quad Cities was awarded an Iowa STEM Scale-Up grant, to provide more STEM programming to youth preschool – school-age. Thank you to the Science Center of Iowa for this exciting new opportunity.