STEM

Royal Caribbean and PADF Launch STEM for Oceans Education in the Bahamas

Royal Caribbean and PADF Launch STEM for Oceans Education in the Bahamas

With support from Royal Caribbean Ltd., the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is launching an innovative STEM for Oceans education initiative in the Bahamas. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education has increasingly been recognized as a key driver for opportunity in countries worldwide. In the Caribbean, the need to develop a STEM-skilled workforce presents a critical challenge.

PADF and City of Coral Gables to Promote STEM Education in Latin America, Caribbean

New partnership advances common goal for more employment opportunities, gender inclusion and innovation through STEM education

Coral Gables, FL (June 22, 2018) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and the City of Coral Gables signed an agreement to promote STEM education in the Americas, co-sponsor STEM-related events and promote fundraising through partners that support common objectives.

IMG_0302.jpg

“Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math is key for the future leaders of our great city,” said Raúl Valdés-Fauli, Mayor of Coral Gables, “and advances our mission to make Coral Gables an international hub for innovation and technology.”

Envisioned by City Founder George Merrick as “a gateway to Latin America,” Coral Gables was designed to be an international city. Now, it contains more than 20 consulates and foreign government offices, 150 multinational corporations and prominent education institutions including the University of Miami, a branch of the Kellogg School of Management Executive MBA Program and Coral Gables High School’s flagship STEM academies.

Resulting from the partnership, PADF and the City of Coral Gables plan to hold a joint annual international event to bring stakeholders together to share best practices and experiences in STEM education in the Americas.

“STEM education can help change our future, as STEM students seek to tackle real-world challenges creatively. STEM skills open doors to employment opportunities in infrastructure, technology and engineering,” said Katie Taylor, Executive Director of PADF. “Engaging girls and women in STEM can help us shatter glass ceilings. STEM education could be key to helping women secure employment in industries that don’t have historical gender biases, thereby bridging the digital gender gap.”

Latin American students continue to rank at the bottom third worldwide in math, reading and science, according to the latest PISA survey. The region’s poorest students are over two years behind their wealthier counterparts, reports the Inter-American Development Bank. As job markets increasingly demand employees with STEM skills, promoting STEM education is vital to the prosperity of future employees and corporations alike.

Under the #STEMamericas initiative, PADF currently implements STEM education programs in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Panama. Boeing, the Dart Foundation, Exxon and other institutions have partnered with PADF to advance STEM education in the Americas.

--

The Pan American Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that unites civil society, governments, and the private sector to promote sustainable livelihoods, strengthen democracy, promote justice and security, and improve disaster resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean. Established by the Organization of American States in 1962, PADF has worked in every country in the region. Last year, more than 10 million people benefited from PADF’s work in sustainable community development. To get involved, visit www.padf.org.

Coral Gables, The City Beautiful, stands out as a rare pearl in South Florida. It is a cohesive community built on a grand scale that blends color, detail, and the Mediterranean Revival architectural style to create harmony with the environment. Early city planners and visionaries were influenced by the aesthetics of the City Beautiful Movement that swept across America in the early 1900s. With a population of approximately 51,000 residents, Coral Gables is a world-class city with a hometown feel. For more information, visit www.coralgables.com.

Contact: Luisa Villegas
Pan American Development Foundation
+1.202.458.3969, connect@padf.org

Contact: Maria Higgins Fallon
City of Coral Gables
305-460-5205, mfallon@coragables.com

Boeing Grant Supports STEM Academies in Chile

Valparaíso, Chile (April 17, 2017) — With a grant from The Boeing Company, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is working with a nonprofit in Chile to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training for teachers and students.

Implemented by Chilean nonprofit Fundación Ciencia Joven, the project will establish 20 STEM Academies at schools in the coastal city of Valparaíso. Each academy leads students in a 10-month afterschool STEM program. At the end of the term, students from each Academy will showcase what they’ve learned at a regional or national science fair. Teachers are also provided with extensive training and support to improve their leadership skills and capacity to teach STEM subjects.

“Boeing is committed to empowering the next generation of thought leaders and we’re happy to support this initiative with PADF,” says Donna Hrinak, President of Boeing Latin America. “The STEM Academies in Chile reflect the spirit of innovation that drives our company. It’s a joy to see kids—especially girls—excited about science and math.”

While school enrollment rates in the region have improved in recent years, Latin American students continue to rank in the bottom third worldwide in math, reading and science, according to the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. PADF and partners identified a need for improved STEM resources in Valparaíso, where less than half of residents complete high school. Students in the city score 20 percent lower than the national average in science and math. Many teachers lack the skills needed to teach science and math, leading to lower student achievement.

The STEM Academies are working to address the need for improved training and equal access to resources. Any child who expresses interest in will be able to participate in the academy. The 10-month program will reach nearly 400 students and teachers.

“Our hope is that students will come away from this program with a passion for learning,” says Kathleen Barclay, PADF Treasurer and Principal at Asesorías KCB. “This project with Boeing is a great example of PADF’s mission to provide opportunities to underserved communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The STEM Academies financed by Boeing are part of PADF’s regional public-private initiative called STEM in the Americas, which is working in Latin America and the Caribbean to inspiring the next generation of science and technology students. In addition to Chile, PADF has active STEM projects in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.

For more information, visit www.padf.org/STEM.

Dart Foundation Promotes STEM Education Training for Indigenous Teachers in Mexico

Tijuana, Mexico (April, 5, 2017) — With a grant from the Dart Foundation, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) supports programs to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in schools in Mexico, particularly those that serve indigenous students.

PADF worked with Wiser Education, a publisher and consulting firm in Mexico, to train elementary school teachers in Baja and Mexico states in STEM education techniques. The project emphasized working with teachers in indigenous language schools to build their capacity to teach science and introduce basic concepts of robotics and programing in elementary education.

“We are committed to inspiring students to pursue careers in STEM education,” says Emily Matthews, Manager of the Dart Foundation. “By giving teachers in Mexico the tools to teach these subjects, we are helping to equip today’s youth with the skills needed to compete in a global economy.”

Last week, 60 public school teachers received graduation certificates for completing 120 hours of coursework including lab activities, presentations and technology training for elementary education. At graduation ceremonies in Tijuana and Atlacomulco, teachers demonstrated new skills. They shared comments from students like Hannia Gonzalez of Tijuana, Baja California, who wrote: “We had a class about the aerospace industry and as part of the activities we designed and built three different paper airplanes. I loved the experience of being an aerospace engineer and I hope to build real airplanes one day.”

While school enrollment rates in the region have improved in recent years, Latin American students continue to rank in the bottom third worldwide in math, reading and science, according to the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. PADF and partners identified a need for improved STEM resources in Mexico, where students earn the lowest math scores of all countries monitored by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In science, 48 percent of Mexican students are considered low achievers.

The regional Secretariats of Education of the state of Mexico (SEIEM) and the state of Baja California (SEE) were very supportive of the project and assisted teachers in and registering teachers for the courses.

“Teachers have a key role to play in transforming the national educational system,” said Iván Marín Rodríguez, deputy director of Institutional Relationships at Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education. “We are working to adapt to the challenges of the digital era in the twenty-first century.”

The STEM training financed by the Dart Foundation is part of PADF’s regional public-private initiative called STEM in the Americas, which is working in Latin America and the Caribbean to inspire the next generation of science and technology students. In addition to Mexico, PADF has active STEM projects in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

For more information, visit www.padf.org/STEM.

PADF Launches STEM Program in the Americas

Regional Public-Private Partnership to Inspire Youth to Careers in Science

Washington, D.C. (December 8, 2016) – In honor of Computer Science and Education Week, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) and partners announce a new educational initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean called STEM in the Americas: Inspiring the next Generation of Science and Technology Students. The project seeks to promote science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) to young students in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.

PADF and partners including The Boeing Company and the Dart Foundation in Mexico will launch innovative STEM education initiatives that aim to inspire young students.

Visit  www.padf.org/STEM  for more information

Visit www.padf.org/STEM for more information

While school enrollment rates in the region have vastly improved in recent years, Latin American students continue to rank in the bottom third worldwide in math, reading and science, according to the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. One of the barriers to success is unequal access to education. The region’s poorest students are more than two years behind their wealthier counterparts, according to the Inter-American Development Bank, which predicts it would take decades for the region to catch up with higher performing countries in math and science.

“Science and technology education is fundamental to building a highly-skilled, professional work force in Latin America and for driving economic growth,” says Marcos Jimenez, CEO of Softtek USA and a board member for PADF. “When taught well, these subjects can inspire a sense of curiosity—which is tied to educational achievement—in even the youngest students.”

PADF is committed to furthering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This program aims to address income inequality, provide quality education and promote gender equality. Whether it's a science fair in Mexico, a nature-based science curriculum in Brazil, supplying books and supplies to schools in Argentina or providing educational support to teachers and students in Chile, PADF and partners are working to bridge the digital divide.

These STEM initiatives aim to engage young children from disadvantaged economic backgrounds who many not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about the field. The programs are designed to promote greater student engagement in science and technology, particularly among communities that are disproportionately underrepresented in these fields, including girls and indigenous youth. 

STEM in the Americas recognizes the critical role that teachers play in promoting science and technology and will create custom curricula based on each country’s needs.

STEM in the Americas is a member of the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Popularization of Science and Technology (RedPOP), an interactive network, which promotes regional cooperation to further education in science and technology.

“Improving the scientific and analytical skills of students can solve a range of socioeconomic problems and help Latin American countries take a leading role in finding solutions to the region’s most challenging issues,” says Luisa Villegas, Deputy Senior Programs Director for PADF.

Often, teachers are not well-equipped to promote STEM education. The STEM in the Americas project will address the need for increased educational opportunities for vulnerable youth both inside and outside of the classroom. In all three countries the project will build teacher capacity as well as that of students.