The following is based on a prepared statement released by the Natick Education Foundation:
The Natick Education Foundation today announced that Boston's Museum of Science and MathWorks will jointly sponsor a grant to integrate science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM, curriculum into the Natick after-school program for students in grades K-8.
This initiative will enrich students’ experiences in the key STEM areas by expanding learning opportunities beyond the classroom, according to a prepared statement released by the foundation.
Through the foundation's grant, the Natick Public Schools After School Activity Program will adopt the Engineering Adventures program being created by the Engineering is Elementary team at the Museum of Science.
Engineering Adventures is being specifically designed for use in out-of-school time programs.
The grant will also enable the Natick Public Schools to train after school staff on the engineering curriculum materials through professional development workshops.
The initiative is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2012.
Peter Sanchioni, superintendent of Natick Public Schools, said integrating the engineering program will hopefully encourage and nurture Natick students' interest in STEM long-term.
"We face a big challenge today to increase student enthusiasm for STEM subjects and professions," Sanchioni said in the statement. "Engineering Adventures is designed to give students hands-on, practical experience with science and engineering concepts, building on the classroom studies already in place."
Rosemary Driscoll, president of Natick Educational Foundation, said the foundation is pleased to earmark the grant, and thanked MathWorks and the Museum of Science for their collaboration.
“These world-renowned STEM leaders share our goal to help stimulate student interest in these disciplines, which ultimately drive technological advances and innovations," Driscoll said. "We all believe that students are our future, and STEM studies are important tools they need to make it a bright one.”
Students participating in the after-school program at each of Natick’s five elementary schools and both middle schools will have access to Engineering Adventures.
The curriculum will complement, reinforce, and extend the existing science and engineering curriculum units during the regular school day, according to the foundation's statement.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org