Tesla: Increasing Access to STEM Education in Nevada
When Tesla committed a four-year, $1.5 million grant a little more than one year ago to support SAE’s STEM programs in Nevada, no one could have predicted that a pandemic would shutter schools for months, leaving families, teachers and students struggling to keep STEM learning alive.
However, despite the pandemic, we were able to exceed our projected reach of 5,000 Nevada students in 2020, providing SAE’s A World In Motion® (AWIM) program to more than 6,200 students and training 63 teachers.
The program provided immediate impact to teachers and students. “It is difficult to find STEM lessons that meet the Next Generation Science Standards,” said fifth grade teacher Mimi Loflin. “Many ‘STEM’ lessons that are available to teachers, free or paid, tend to lack three phases of the engineering design process; defining the problem, developing possible solutions, and improving designs. With AWIM lesson plans, I was able to save my time and energy and provide high quality STEM lessons to my students.”
Plans for 2021 include integrating SAE Collegiate Design SeriesTM students from the University of Nevada Reno and the University of Nevada Las Vegas as classroom volunteers, further enhancing the learning experience for both K-8 and university students.
“Tesla’s support of AWIM came at a crucial time,” said Lori Gatmaitan, Director of the SAE Foundation. “When schools opened in the fall of 2020, Nevada teachers were excited to have AWIM training and resources at their disposal to help ensure that students stayed on track and engaged throughout this challenging year.”