SA YES launched their YES Grant Program to encourage, promote and help fund improved science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in our schools. Since the program’s inception, SA YES began distributing 2-3 YES Grants a year to a total of 15 in 2021. Among last year’s beneficiaries was Will Rogers Academy, whom SA YES presented with a check of $13,500 for their STEM class and Outreach Club.
“The students really, really need this. They need to add [STEM skills] to their educational repertoire. They need that spark of inquiry learning and STEM brings that.”
– Jenny Ostos, Science Teacher at Will Rogers Academy
Regardless of what a students’ chosen career path will be, an effective STEM education can go a long way in preparing them for a successful future. According to an article by Study in the USA, each STEM component instills in students valuable skills that go beyond those needed to be successful in STEM fields. “Science … helps them to become better at research and critical thinking. Technology prepares young people to work in an environment full of high-tech innovations. Engineering allows students to enhance problem-solving skills and apply knowledge in new projects. Mathematics enables people to analyze information, eliminate errors, and make conscious decisions when designing solutions.”
That said, a high quality STEM education is the foundation for opportunity. Yet, access to STEM learning continues to be unevenly distributed across the country. The latest report from the National Science Board proves that “inequality persists in K–12 [STEM] educational outcomes by race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and U.S. region.” These pre-existing socioeconomic differences have only been magnified by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With our YES Grants, we are doing our part to bridge this gap. To date, we have distributed more than $118,000 to support the development of STEM programs in San Antonio and surrounding areas.
A STEM-based education teaches students more than the scientific method or arithmetic operations. Building a strong STEM foundation now sets students up for success in their future industry of choice, regardless of whether or not it falls within the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. Let us help you give your students the STEM education they deserve! We will be accepting applications for this year’s Spring YES Grant cycle through February 28, 2022.