Santa Clara Unified School District will receive $1 million from the San Francisco 49ers Foundation this year for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education initiatives, thanks to the Foundation’s annual Winter Fest fundraiser last month.
STEM education is a special focus of the 49ers and the team has launched major education initiatives in the community. In 2014, the 49ers Foundation launched the STEM Leadership Institute (SLI) in conjunction with the Chevron STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School – a high tech classroom and lab that fosters hands-on learning.
Next fall Fab Lab SCHS will expand the SLI program to Santa Clara High School with a makerspace equipped with computer-aided design tools and 3-D printers for designing, modeling and prototyping solutions to real world problems. In addition to SLI students, the equipment will also be available to the community at large.
Since the 49ers moved to Santa Clara in August 2014, over 4,000 SCUSD students have participated in the SLI program at Levi’s Stadium’s 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium, sponsored by the Denise DeBartolo York Education Center. They were among 30,000 Bay Area students who have participated in the program, a number that is anticipated to double this year.
Other Education Center programs in Santa Clara include sponsoring the 2015 Educator’s Open House, the 10-session “Family Learning Nights” STEM education series, and partnering with SCUSD to host a Teachers On Special Assignment (TOSA) professional development event in 2015.
These education efforts are among the reasons the 49ers received one of five 2015 Sport Team of the Year awards given by Beyond Sport, an international organization that promotes the use of sports for positive social change.
Now a quarter century old, the 49ers Foundation is the non-profit community funding extension of the San Francisco 49ers dedicated to keeping young people “safe, on track, and in school.” To learn more, visit 49ers.com/community/foundation.html.