STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is vital to the futures of the youth in our community and is not exclusive to STEM focused careers. No matter what field of endeavor is chosen by our youth, knowledge of STEM basics will be essential for their future. The need to revamp American education, especially in STEM, has been widely reported for over half a century. In fact, when the United States Department of Labor listed the ten most wanted employees, eight of those ten were with degrees in the STEM fields.
The four Fort Collins Rotary Clubs take the call to educate our youth in these areas seriously and have supported many STEM programs within Fort Collins through financial donations and/or volunteers. These programs include Lego Robotics Teams, Science Olympiad Teams, “Engineering in Elementary” teaching units, “Little Shop of Physics” teacher workshops, purchase of 3D printers for schools, and the STEM Summer Institute. These programs, and many others, are constantly developing and are in need of funding to ensure they can continue to offer much needed STEM education in our community.
In order to continue and grow Rotary’s support of STEM education, the four Fort Collins Rotary Clubs have set up a STEM Education Fund. This Fund was initially funded from proceeds of the 2014 Fort Collins Peach Festival. Rotary intends to apply for matching grants from Rotary International and other STEM funding efforts in order to grow the amount of funds available in the Rotary STEM Education Fund over time.
The education fund is being set up to ensure that all students, regardless of their economic means, have the opportunity to participate in and take full advantage of the STEM programs available in the Fort Collins community and to support new and on-going programs as they continue to develop.