The goal of Oakland Leaf’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) initiative is to ensure that students and families are digitally literate, have access to modern technology, and are encouraged to pursue interests in the scientific fields. Today, students spend 1/3 less time in science class than they did a decade ago. Yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for STEM professionals is projected to grow much faster than the average for all other occupations.
Students in underrepresented communities oftentimes do not have the resources or encouragement to pursue careers in STEM fields. In fact, Latinos make up 14% of the total documented labor force, but only make up 4.6% of the labor force in STEM fields. Meanwhile, African Americans make up 11% of the total labor force, but only 5.1% of the labor force in STEM fields. Our programs are designed to instill confidence and interest in STEM subjects while always keeping “play” in mind. We teach STEM in a way that complements the regular school day and enhances what students learn during traditional class hours. Our after-school and summer programming focuses on hands-on math and science education, software and computer programming, and participation in engineering design competitions and science fairs.
We offer our students an average of 10 hours per week of STEM programming, 10 months per year. Below is a sample of the STEM classes and activities we offer:
- Computer Generated Design & Animation
- Creative Identity
- Girl Tech Build It (in partnership with Girls, Inc.)
- Music Production
- SMarTe Pantz
- SMArte Scholars
- Three-Dimensional Arts
- U-Build It
- Video Game Design