Continuing an established relationship in the City and local schools – one day after unveiling Levi’s Stadium with a lavish, over-the-top celebration – the 49ers Foundation focused on local youth, rolling out the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute and Chevron STEM Zone at Cabrillo Middle School on July 18.
Following introductions and remarks from local leaders and 49ers representatives, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held, followed by the debut of the Chevron STEM Zone, a state-of-the-art, $4 million classroom. Costs of the program are being shared by the 49ers and Chevron.
A joint effort between the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (http://svefoundation.org/), Chevron, the 49ers Foundation and the Santa Clara Unified School District initiated the Chevron STEM Zone concept, which will allow students to spend more time in a high-tech learning environment.
“You will be amazed with what our students can do,” said SCUSD Superintendent Stan Rose. Mayor Jamie Matthews echoed Rose’s comments. “With collaboration anything can be done. Coming together we can do anything we set our minds to do.”
According to a press release, the STEM Institute “was built for students with high potential, but few opportunities, and to develop mastery in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects, build leadership and empower them to unlock their own potential.” The six-year program will “prepare students with high academic potential to be outstanding. The Institute aims to inspire and prepare its students to pursue STEM majors at top-tier universities and become the future leaders in their fields.”
“If God given brains was the only way to create genius, then most of us wouldn’t have a chance at genius,” said 49ers co-chairman John York, a retired cancer research pathologist and former co-owner of the 49ers. “Genius comes from hard work. With these tools, this is the engine to your future genius.”
Muhammed Chaudhry, SVEF President and CEO, said that of the 111 applications received, only the “best and brightest” were selected through an “exhaustive” selection process. Chaudhry said the application process was similar to that of applying for admission to Stanford University. “Nurturing students starting in middle school will better prepare them to achieve entry to top-tier universities and inspire them to become Silicon Valley’s next generation of leaders and innovators.”
Students will participate in rigorous college-preparatory curriculum. All program students will be enrolled full-time at Cabrillo for seventh and eighth grade. At the ribbon cutting, York confirmed the 49ers were working with SCUSD to place a STEM Zone in one of SCUSD’s high schools, to keep the six-year program in place through high school. The lab is equipped with digital fabrication devices like 3D-printers and laser cutters, robotics kits, laptops, tablets and other cutting edge technologies.
Students will participate in hands-on projects, visit local companies and laboratories and prepare for local, state and national competitions after school, on Saturdays and five weeks during the summer. Students will partake in over 300 additional learning hours through the program each year.
At the inaugural “Celebration of Scholars” and “Class of 2020 Draft,” students joined local engineers, teachers and 49ers players and alumni to focus on science by crafting “field goal apparatuses,” from four items: popsicle sticks, rubber bands, marshmallows and a soda bottle cap. Among those participating included current 49ers fullback Bruce Miller, 49ers legend Dwight Clark and former 49ers place kicker Joe Nedney.
In addition, the 49ers house STEM learning programs at Levi’s Stadium through the 49ers Museum. Visit http://www.levisstadium.com/49ers-museum/education/ for more information.