STEM Program Gets a Boost
Time Warner Cable, as part of an initiative to boost STEM education, has donated $15,000 to Cal Poly Pomona to help promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, known as STEM, to economically disadvantaged students.
The announcement came on Nov. 16 at Montvue Elementary School in Pomona, while fifth- and sixth-grade students showed their robotics skills. The donation will help the university establish a similar robotics program at an additional school in Pomona. The donation, which covers about half the cost of launching the program, will increase the number of participants by 50 percent.
"All too often math, engineering and science are taught as abstract notions rather than concepts that have real-life applications," said Cesar Larriva, an education professor who works with Montvue teachers and students to develop STEM skills. "The robotics program puts learning in students' hands."
Although STEM education reaps significant benefits for younger students, positioning them for success in high school and college, it requires more funding than a typical lecture program. A robot kit, which can last several years, costs more than $400 (not counting the laptop computer needed to program the robots), and teachers must be trained.
Last spring, students from Collegewood Elementary School in Walnut and Montvue faced off in a robotics competition to showcase their skills. The event was the culmination of a collaborative effort of faculty from the College of Education & Integrative Studies, the College of Engineering, and the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences.
(Photo: College of Education & Integrative Studies Dean Peggy Kelly, center, accepts a $15,000 donation from Time Warner Cable.)