The STEM Initiative in the Great Lakes Bay Region
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs for children are everywhere – in our schools and preschools, at our libraries and museums, and the after-school programs.
We are seeing more programs popping up (Math In the Mail
, Engineering for Kids,
and Snapology – Tri-Cities
) that are STEM-based and dedicated to providing a fun STEM experience for our kids. The best part about all this is our kids LOVE it! And why not, they are discovering whole new worlds through coding, by going outside and being in our natural world, and building creations that we as parents never thought of when we were kids. The importance of this learning while having fun is going to affect their future. According to the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance – Stem Pipeline
38% of the Great Lakes Bay Region’s economic output is in manufacturing and healthcare. Our children are these industries’ future employees and training them to love STEM now will help our kids enter well-paying professions right here at home.
Our children are these industries’ future employees and training them to love STEM now will help our kids enter well-paying professions right here at home.
There is an initiative to push STEM in our region that was started by the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance – Out of School Time Network and is now also supported by the East Central Michigan MiSTEM group. These groups are working with local organizations across six counties (Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, and Saginaw County) by providing funds through grants to supplement or create new programs for our kids. The purpose is to provide quality STEM programs for all families no matter their economic situation, to improve school readiness for preschoolers in the areas of math and science, and to increase families awareness of STEM and its importance to their children’s futures.
We are fortunate to live in an area where our local industries care about our families and are taking an active role in providing their kids with unique opportunities. Saginaw County’s own Nexteer Automotive, a global manufacturer of steering and driveline products, is one of these strong supporters. It has a history of collaborating with local organizations such as the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum and the Carrollton Middle School to provide STEM access to its community of kids. This support continues on as Nexteer’s reach expands out to surrounding counties with a donation of $20,000. In addition to the Nexteer funding, the MISTEM group also provided funding for two of the programs to be implemented. This money will provide mini-grants to the local organizations to create quality STEM programs and provide access to all families. Thank you Nexteer and MiSTEM group for caring for our youth’s future!
STEM LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Given that the Boys and Girls Club centers provide the venue for students to engage with STEM programming, the main focus of this project is to equip Club staff members with a co-created set of lessons that can be rotated amongst the five Boys and Girls Club units in Bay and Saginaw counties.
CHIPPEWA RIVER DISTRICT LIBRARY STEM LITERACY WORKSHOPS
Given to the Chippewa River District Library (Mt. Pleasant). The desire of library staff to meet the needs and interests of patrons has led to an increase in STEM-related programming and on-site materials available for use. Given the interest and need, the library branch locations seem a viable venue for STEM Workshops for staff and students.
EQUITABLE ACCESS FOR 3-YEAR OLDS MATHEMATICS
By providing children with these kits will help to increase their interaction with early mathematics skills and engagement with parents around early math concepts. This unique partnership will also provide an opportunity for parents and/or caregivers to be engaged with their child in mathematics play.
LITTLE STEMmers FOR FIELD TRIPS
The Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum and the Central Michigan University Center for Excellence in STEM Education is partnering to offer “Little STEMmer” programming to children in need in Mid Michigan.
MID-MICHIGAN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM FAMILY SCHOLARSHIPS
These scholarships will help to provide our families with an opportunity to take advantage of the hands-on STEM experiences the Mid Michigan Children’s Museum provide. While increasing parent, family and community engagement, these experiences will also help our students become better prepared in the areas of math, science and technology before entering Kindergarten.
TEACHING ROBOTICS, CODING AND ENGINEERING TO UNDERSERVED YOUTH IN BAY COUNTY USING LEGO KITS AND SENSORS
The target of this program would be to supply underserved youth with opportunities to participate in hands on and educationally meaningful lessons in a supportive and fun atmosphere.
UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF STEM IN KINDERGARTEN
This is a project linking the kindergarten students, teachers, and families of Bay City Public Schools (BCPS) with the staff and STEM programming of Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) in Midland, MI. This partnership seeks to engage teachers, students, and families in authentic, science-based explorations that focus on local phenomena.
Learn more about STEM in the Great Lakes Bay Region by clicking HERE