Two AISD Campuses Awarded More than $70,000 to Establish STEM Programs

The Austin Independent School District has been awarded more than $70,000 in grants to establish summer science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs at Widen Elementary School and Eastside Memorial High School.

The grants, awarded by the KDK-Harman Foundation, will provide Widen Elementary $30,000 to establish the STAARburst Enrichment Lab. The lab aims to increase student knowledge of STEM fields, and to hone 21st century skills through integrated, interdisciplinary activities that target specific academic needs. A combination of collaborative, project-based learning, classroom instruction, and study trips will be provided to students in the program.

“KDK-Harman’s commitment to helping Austin ISD stop summer learning loss will result in students’ increased exposure to innovative and engaging STEM learning opportunities,” said Shirlene Justice, an afterschool administrator for AISD’s 21st CCLC grant program. “Widen teachers working closely with four community-based partners have planned an exciting program that will give participants an academic boost in the upcoming school year”

Another grant by the foundation provides the Eastside Memorial Vertical Team (EMVT) $44,358 to create the Elementary Summer STEM & Robotics Academy. The academy will serve 220 students from six elementary campuses.

Programs at Eastside Memorial High School will be focused on robotics, critical thinking and 21st century skills that prepare students for success in high school, college readiness and careers. The STEM Summer Academy will complement the STEM-focused signature program at the Eastside Memorial Vertical Team ensuring alignment and exposure for all students.

"AISD continues to develop innovative out-of-school time programming for students of all grade levels. The KDK-Harman Foundation is glad to support these two programs as part of our 2013 Summer Learning STEM initiative," Melanie Moore, executive director of KDK-Harman Foundation said.