General Motors recently made a grant to fund STEM Explorers Virtual Classroom, a program to provide deaf and hard-of-hearing students and families who identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) with the tools needed to pursue careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
STEM Explorers Virtual Classroom is the product of a collaborative effort between the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) and CSD Learns, a subsidiary of Communication Service for the Deaf.
The program will provide 23 middle-schoolers from 12 different schools in four different states with laptops and mobile hotspots to ensure they have access to the program. Over the course of three weeks, participants will connect with other deaf and hard-of-hearing students, while also learning from deaf and hard-of-hearing roles models with careers in a STEM field. Participants will also be given activity boxes for at-home learning, and help to forge a path to their own career in a STEM field.
“We want our students to feel excited and curious about STEM fields by making STEM more relevant to their lives,” said Digital Learning Developer from CSD Learns, Jeanine Pollard. “Our classroom helps students envision themselves in their future careers.”
The new program was made possible thanks to a grant from General Motors.
“This is an opportunity for us to actively and intentionally engage in social projects that can help improve the lives of everyone, everywhere,” said STEM Education Program Officer from General Motors, Kelsey Gaines. “Together we are making investments in immersive, hands-on learning that encourages youth from all communities to explore their STEM identities.”
Last year, General Motors launched Electrifying Engineering, a free education video series designed to give children a chance to explore electric vehicle technology through at-home activities. The videos are accessible on YouTube. What’s more, the automaker also entered a partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA to develop STEM curriculum and encourage more girls to pursue a career in a STEM field.