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Afterschool Awards Aim to Help Close the Opportunity Gap

Posted by Cynthia Berger on Friday, January 30, 2015

An award from SheGivesBoston brought bubble fun to SSEF in Malden, MA.
This year the innovative philanthropy SheGivesBoston made an award to EiE to bring our elementary afterschool curriculum, Engineering Adventures (EA) to Massachusetts out-of-school time programs that are working to close the “opportunity gap” for groups underrepresented in STEM careers, including women and minorities. "Our members are passionate about supporting programs that develop STEM skills in underrepresented communities,” says SheGives founder and president Kirstan Barnett.

A total of 30 SheGives scholarships were awarded in September. One noteworthy scholarship recipient from the first round of awards is South Sudanese Enrichment for Families (SSEF) in Malden, a nonprofit that works to advance education and employment for South Sudanese refugees and their families.

The program got its start in 2001 when, in the wake of the world’s longest civil war, more than two hundred “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” were resettled in Boston. “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” is the name aid workers gave to the more than 20,000 children (most of them about 7 or 8 years old) who in 1983 were displaced from their homes by civil war in the Sudan; many of these children were also orphaned. In harrowing months-long treks, they walked hundreds of miles with little food or water to reach Ethiopia—and then spent years in a refugee camp. Among the meager possessions they carried with them, some brought books, an expression of their hope for a good education in the future. Ultimately, a resettlement program brought many of these children—grown to young adults—to the United States.

Other refugees have followed. One of the ways SSEF supports the local South Sudanese community is through its Saturday Bridges program, which brings entire families to a local school where instructors offer educational (and fun) programs for the kids and continuing education and parenting workshops for the adults. “We know how important STEM education has become in schools, and offering supplemental STEM education through our program is an important goal,” says SSEF executive director Ron Moulton. “So we have a coding program, we’ve embraced the Maker movement—and we’re always on the lookout for new STEM activities. We have a fairly small budget, so we look for cost-effective ways to add programming. When we heard about the scholarship, it seemed like a good fit.”

On a recent Saturday, a group of children at SSEF’s “Saturday Bridges” program was trying out EA’s “Bubble Bonanza” unit, experimenting with different materials to build custom bubble wands of their own design. As part of the SheGives award, SSEF also received the EA curriculum unit “Recycled Racers,” which challenges students to design toy race cars from materials like empty plastic bottles and jar lids.

“I like that Engineering Adventures is pretty easy to pick up and use right away,” says Saturday Bridges program director Moses Ajou. “It’s not so highly technical or complex that it requires special knowledge to get started—we can use it effectively right out of the box.”

One express goal of the EiE project is to support all children in developing STEM literacy. It’s gratifying—and humbling—to play a small role in helping students from Boston’s South Sudanese community take a step on this educational path.

In addition to the classroom experiences in the Saturday Bridges program, SSEF also provides tutors for STEM enrichment and to support adults in advancing English skills, expanding job readiness or pursuing higher education. They are always looking for more volunteers. Call 781-322-0063 or email southsudaneseboston@gmail.com for more details.

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the http://www.mos.org/.

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 16:00

This year the innovative philanthropy SheGivesBoston made an award to EiE to bring our elementary afterschool curriculum, Engineering Adventures (EA) to Massachusetts out-of-school time programs that are working to close the “opportunity gap” for groups underrepresented in STEM careers, including women and minorities. "Our members are passionate about supporting programs that develop STEM skills in underrepresented communities,” says SheGives founder and president Kirstan Barnett.

A total of 30 SheGives scholarships were awarded in September. One noteworthy scholarship recipient from the first round of awards is South Sudanese Enrichment for Families (SSEF) in Malden, a nonprofit that works to advance education and employment for South Sudanese refugees and their families.

The program got its start in 2001 when, in the wake of the world’s longest civil war, more than two hundred “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” were resettled in Boston. “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” is the name aid workers gave to the more than 20,000 children (most of them about 7 or 8 years old) who in 1983 were displaced from their homes by civil war in the Sudan; many of these children were also orphaned. In harrowing months-long treks, they walked hundreds of miles with little food or water to reach Ethiopia—and then spent years in a refugee camp. Among the meager possessions they carried with them, some brought books, an expression of their hope for a good education in the future. Ultimately, a resettlement program brought many of these children—grown to young adults—to the United States.

Other refugees have followed. One of the ways SSEF supports the local South Sudanese community is through its Saturday Bridges program, which brings entire families to a local school where instructors offer educational (and fun) programs for the kids and continuing education and parenting workshops for the adults. “We know how important STEM education has become in schools, and offering supplemental STEM education through our program is an important goal,” says SSEF executive director Ron Moulton. “So we have a coding program, we’ve embraced the Maker movement—and we’re always on the lookout for new STEM activities. We have a fairly small budget, so we look for cost-effective ways to add programming. When we heard about the scholarship, it seemed like a good fit.”

On a recent Saturday, a group of children at SSEF’s “Saturday Bridges” program was trying out EA’s “Bubble Bonanza” unit, experimenting with different materials to build custom bubble wands of their own design. As part of the SheGives award, SSEF also received the EA curriculum unit “Recycled Racers,” which challenges students to design toy race cars from materials like empty plastic bottles and jar lids.

“I like that Engineering Adventures is pretty easy to pick up and use right away,” says Saturday Bridges program director Moses Ajou. “It’s not so highly technical or complex that it requires special knowledge to get started—we can use it effectively right out of the box.”

One express goal of the EiE project is to support all children in developing STEM literacy. It’s gratifying—and humbling—to play a small role in helping students from Boston’s South Sudanese community take a step on this educational path.

In addition to the classroom experiences in the Saturday Bridges program, SSEF also provides tutors for STEM enrichment and to support adults in advancing English skills, expanding job readiness or pursuing higher education. They are always looking for more volunteers. Call 781-322-0063 or email southsudaneseboston@gmail.com for more details.

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the http://www.mos.org/.

- See more at: http://eie.org/blog/eie-blog-afterschool-awards-aim-help-close-opportunity-gap#sthash.X5jP90vu.dpuf
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 16:00

This year the innovative philanthropy SheGivesBoston made an award to EiE to bring our elementary afterschool curriculum, Engineering Adventures (EA) to Massachusetts out-of-school time programs that are working to close the “opportunity gap” for groups underrepresented in STEM careers, including women and minorities. "Our members are passionate about supporting programs that develop STEM skills in underrepresented communities,” says SheGives founder and president Kirstan Barnett.

A total of 30 SheGives scholarships were awarded in September. One noteworthy scholarship recipient from the first round of awards is South Sudanese Enrichment for Families (SSEF) in Malden, a nonprofit that works to advance education and employment for South Sudanese refugees and their families.

The program got its start in 2001 when, in the wake of the world’s longest civil war, more than two hundred “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” were resettled in Boston. “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” is the name aid workers gave to the more than 20,000 children (most of them about 7 or 8 years old) who in 1983 were displaced from their homes by civil war in the Sudan; many of these children were also orphaned. In harrowing months-long treks, they walked hundreds of miles with little food or water to reach Ethiopia—and then spent years in a refugee camp. Among the meager possessions they carried with them, some brought books, an expression of their hope for a good education in the future. Ultimately, a resettlement program brought many of these children—grown to young adults—to the United States.

Other refugees have followed. One of the ways SSEF supports the local South Sudanese community is through its Saturday Bridges program, which brings entire families to a local school where instructors offer educational (and fun) programs for the kids and continuing education and parenting workshops for the adults. “We know how important STEM education has become in schools, and offering supplemental STEM education through our program is an important goal,” says SSEF executive director Ron Moulton. “So we have a coding program, we’ve embraced the Maker movement—and we’re always on the lookout for new STEM activities. We have a fairly small budget, so we look for cost-effective ways to add programming. When we heard about the scholarship, it seemed like a good fit.”

On a recent Saturday, a group of children at SSEF’s “Saturday Bridges” program was trying out EA’s “Bubble Bonanza” unit, experimenting with different materials to build custom bubble wands of their own design. As part of the SheGives award, SSEF also received the EA curriculum unit “Recycled Racers,” which challenges students to design toy race cars from materials like empty plastic bottles and jar lids.

“I like that Engineering Adventures is pretty easy to pick up and use right away,” says Saturday Bridges program director Moses Ajou. “It’s not so highly technical or complex that it requires special knowledge to get started—we can use it effectively right out of the box.”

One express goal of the EiE project is to support all children in developing STEM literacy. It’s gratifying—and humbling—to play a small role in helping students from Boston’s South Sudanese community take a step on this educational path.

In addition to the classroom experiences in the Saturday Bridges program, SSEF also provides tutors for STEM enrichment and to support adults in advancing English skills, expanding job readiness or pursuing higher education. They are always looking for more volunteers. Call 781-322-0063 or email southsudaneseboston@gmail.com for more details.

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the http://www.mos.org/.

- See more at: http://eie.org/blog/eie-blog-afterschool-awards-aim-help-close-opportunity-gap#sthash.X5jP90vu.dpuf
SSEF/Ellen Morgan
An award from SheGivesBoston brought bubble fun to SSEF in Malden, MA.
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 16:00

This year the innovative philanthropy SheGivesBoston made an award to EiE to bring our elementary afterschool curriculum, Engineering Adventures (EA) to Massachusetts out-of-school time programs that are working to close the “opportunity gap” for groups underrepresented in STEM careers, including women and minorities. "Our members are passionate about supporting programs that develop STEM skills in underrepresented communities,” says SheGives founder and president Kirstan Barnett.

A total of 30 SheGives scholarships were awarded in September. One noteworthy scholarship recipient from the first round of awards is South Sudanese Enrichment for Families (SSEF) in Malden, a nonprofit that works to advance education and employment for South Sudanese refugees and their families.

The program got its start in 2001 when, in the wake of the world’s longest civil war, more than two hundred “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” were resettled in Boston. “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” is the name aid workers gave to the more than 20,000 children (most of them about 7 or 8 years old) who in 1983 were displaced from their homes by civil war in the Sudan; many of these children were also orphaned. In harrowing months-long treks, they walked hundreds of miles with little food or water to reach Ethiopia—and then spent years in a refugee camp. Among the meager possessions they carried with them, some brought books, an expression of their hope for a good education in the future. Ultimately, a resettlement program brought many of these children—grown to young adults—to the United States.

Other refugees have followed. One of the ways SSEF supports the local South Sudanese community is through its Saturday Bridges program, which brings entire families to a local school where instructors offer educational (and fun) programs for the kids and continuing education and parenting workshops for the adults. “We know how important STEM education has become in schools, and offering supplemental STEM education through our program is an important goal,” says SSEF executive director Ron Moulton. “So we have a coding program, we’ve embraced the Maker movement—and we’re always on the lookout for new STEM activities. We have a fairly small budget, so we look for cost-effective ways to add programming. When we heard about the scholarship, it seemed like a good fit.”

On a recent Saturday, a group of children at SSEF’s “Saturday Bridges” program was trying out EA’s “Bubble Bonanza” unit, experimenting with different materials to build custom bubble wands of their own design. As part of the SheGives award, SSEF also received the EA curriculum unit “Recycled Racers,” which challenges students to design toy race cars from materials like empty plastic bottles and jar lids.

“I like that Engineering Adventures is pretty easy to pick up and use right away,” says Saturday Bridges program director Moses Ajou. “It’s not so highly technical or complex that it requires special knowledge to get started—we can use it effectively right out of the box.”

One express goal of the EiE project is to support all children in developing STEM literacy. It’s gratifying—and humbling—to play a small role in helping students from Boston’s South Sudanese community take a step on this educational path.

In addition to the classroom experiences in the Saturday Bridges program, SSEF also provides tutors for STEM enrichment and to support adults in advancing English skills, expanding job readiness or pursuing higher education. They are always looking for more volunteers. Call 781-322-0063 or email southsudaneseboston@gmail.com for more details.

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the http://www.mos.org/.

- See more at: http://eie.org/blog/eie-blog-afterschool-awards-aim-help-close-opportunity-gap#sthash.X5jP90vu.dpuf
SSEF/Ellen Morgan
An award from SheGivesBoston brought bubble fun to SSEF in Malden, MA.
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 16:00

This year the innovative philanthropy SheGivesBoston made an award to EiE to bring our elementary afterschool curriculum, Engineering Adventures (EA) to Massachusetts out-of-school time programs that are working to close the “opportunity gap” for groups underrepresented in STEM careers, including women and minorities. "Our members are passionate about supporting programs that develop STEM skills in underrepresented communities,” says SheGives founder and president Kirstan Barnett.

A total of 30 SheGives scholarships were awarded in September. One noteworthy scholarship recipient from the first round of awards is South Sudanese Enrichment for Families (SSEF) in Malden, a nonprofit that works to advance education and employment for South Sudanese refugees and their families.

The program got its start in 2001 when, in the wake of the world’s longest civil war, more than two hundred “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” were resettled in Boston. “Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan” is the name aid workers gave to the more than 20,000 children (most of them about 7 or 8 years old) who in 1983 were displaced from their homes by civil war in the Sudan; many of these children were also orphaned. In harrowing months-long treks, they walked hundreds of miles with little food or water to reach Ethiopia—and then spent years in a refugee camp. Among the meager possessions they carried with them, some brought books, an expression of their hope for a good education in the future. Ultimately, a resettlement program brought many of these children—grown to young adults—to the United States.

Other refugees have followed. One of the ways SSEF supports the local South Sudanese community is through its Saturday Bridges program, which brings entire families to a local school where instructors offer educational (and fun) programs for the kids and continuing education and parenting workshops for the adults. “We know how important STEM education has become in schools, and offering supplemental STEM education through our program is an important goal,” says SSEF executive director Ron Moulton. “So we have a coding program, we’ve embraced the Maker movement—and we’re always on the lookout for new STEM activities. We have a fairly small budget, so we look for cost-effective ways to add programming. When we heard about the scholarship, it seemed like a good fit.”

On a recent Saturday, a group of children at SSEF’s “Saturday Bridges” program was trying out EA’s “Bubble Bonanza” unit, experimenting with different materials to build custom bubble wands of their own design. As part of the SheGives award, SSEF also received the EA curriculum unit “Recycled Racers,” which challenges students to design toy race cars from materials like empty plastic bottles and jar lids.

“I like that Engineering Adventures is pretty easy to pick up and use right away,” says Saturday Bridges program director Moses Ajou. “It’s not so highly technical or complex that it requires special knowledge to get started—we can use it effectively right out of the box.”

One express goal of the EiE project is to support all children in developing STEM literacy. It’s gratifying—and humbling—to play a small role in helping students from Boston’s South Sudanese community take a step on this educational path.

In addition to the classroom experiences in the Saturday Bridges program, SSEF also provides tutors for STEM enrichment and to support adults in advancing English skills, expanding job readiness or pursuing higher education. They are always looking for more volunteers. Call 781-322-0063 or email southsudaneseboston@gmail.com for more details.

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the http://www.mos.org/.

- See more at: http://eie.org/blog/eie-blog-afterschool-awards-aim-help-close-opportunity-gap#sthash.X5jP90vu.dpuf

Written by Cynthia Berger

Cynthia Berger is manager for communications at Engineering is Elementary, a project of the Museum of Science, Boston

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