Over the past three years, as part of TWC’s Connect a Million Minds initiative, we’ve partnered with 826 National to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through workshops that marry hands-on science learning with creative writing activities. We did this first in 2012 by funding a STEM and Writing pilot workshop for ninety students in 826 locations. We continued in 2013 and 2014 with more workshops, at more afterschool locations.
Three years of partnering with this award-winning literacy non-profit has left us rich with gifts – active imaginations, hands tacky with oobleck, and finesse in finding bookstores hidden behind fanciful facades. But, no product of our three-year partnership, made possible by our meeting at the Clinton Global Initiative, is more exciting than what we announced yesterday- the launch of our book STEM to Story: Enthralling and Effective Lesson Plans for Grades 5-8. Featuring the same creative lessons that we’ve done in our own workshops and tested on real kids (no one was harmed!) this book brings the best practices for STEM education that we and 826 have developed, to parents, teachers and afterschool organizations.
To help introduce this curriculum to the afterschool space, we’ve donated 1,000 copies of STEM to Story to the YMCA of the USA, which will implement the book’s lessons in 1,000 of its sites, reaching an estimated 250,000 youth in 44 states. About adopting the programming, Pam Garza, STEM project director at the YMCA of the USA said, “Aligned with the Common Core English Language Arts and the Next Generation Science Standards, the activities [in STEM to Story] engage youth by providing real-world experiences to break down the stereotypes associated with science and who can be a scientist. We are excited to inspire thousands of young people every day to increase their ability to solve problems and discover the exciting world of science.”
STEM to Story can be purchased online at Wiley.com and Amazon.com, and in person at 826 chapters nationwide. To get a taste of what’s behind the colorful book cover, and preview lessons like “There May Be Bones” and “Tinfoil Shipbuilding,” view excerpts of the book, which features an introduction from 826 National CEO Gerald Richards and TWC VP of Corporate Social Responsibility and 826 Advisory Board member Tessie Topol.