The 2015 scholarships are made possible by a $37,000 award from the innovative philanthropy SheGives Boston to our parent organization, the Museum of Science, Boston. Each scholarship award includes everything you need to implement EiE’s Engineering Adventures (EA) curriculum: educator guide, materials kit, and an invitation to a three-hour professional development workshop here at the Museum of Science.
Making a Difference Through a New Way of Giving
This is the second year in a row that SheGives has supported scholarships for Massachusetts educators. The unconventional nonprofit engages women leaders in Boston in informed charitable giving through a collaborative process: members work together to identify causes that deserve support; consider a slate of organizations that address each cause; then vote on which ones to support, selecting organizations that are well run and demonstrated to have significant impact.
“We were honored to receive a similar award from SheGives last year, as one of their first grant recipients,” says Tania Tauer, a senior curriculum developer with EiE. The 2014 award brought EA curriculum materials to 44 Boston-area afterschool programs.
Recognizing that different afterschool programs have different needs, Tauer says the scholarship awards are flexible. Recipients will receive Educator Guides plus the supporting Materials Kits for up to three curriculum units, depending on the number of students their program serves. In all, the scholarship program will award 85 EA units to a total of 40 to 60 programs across the state.
Fictional Guides Take You on Real-World Adventures
The EA curriculum is designed expressly for kids in grades 3–5 in out-of-school time settings. Like Blue’s Clues or Dora the Explorer, it has a fictional host—or rather, an adventurous duo: India and Jacob, a globetrotting brother-and-sister team who guide kids through the engineering design process.
Every adventure is based on real-world events: space exploration by NASA; disaster relief for earthquakes and hurricanes; kids who make toys from recyclables in Senegal. Each of the seven EA units includes six to eight 45-minute “adventures” (engineering activities) that can be scheduled flexibly depending on the structure of the program.
Applications are being accepted NOW for the SheGives-supported EA scholarship program and will close August 28th; EiE will announce winners in mid-September. Any afterschool or camp program in MA that serves elementary-school-aged kids may apply.
SheGives founder Kirstan Barnett says the award to the Museum aligns with the group’s goal of promoting STEM skills for students in underprivileged communities. "We are so proud of Boston's ecosystem for innovation and discovery through STEM, and of MOS's role in ensuring that the next generation of scientists is inspired and engaged in solving the world's toughest problems," she says.
Engineering Adventures was created with support from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and from NASA. Thanks to this generous support, EA curriculum units are available to all afterschool programs free of charge in the form of a download from the project website. The scholarship winners will receive pre-printed Educator Guides and fully stocked Materials Kits with supplies for up to 24 students; these are also available to programs through the EiE store.
Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy® at the Museum of Science, Boston.