MISSION & VISION
Our mission is to empower more students with quality, hands-on learning experiences that combine Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). We aim to support students of all backgrounds to consider careers in these fields. We strive to increase representation for girls and economically disadvantaged students, as part of our mission to expand STEAM educational opportunities in Arlington County, Virginia.
Our vision is to change life trajectories of students by exposing them to more learning combining science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics, and creative thinking skills. We seek to inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers to step up.
Who We Are
Our founding board is made up of PTA leaders, Arlington Public Schools parents, and Odyssey of the Mind coaches.
Through our own experiences working with our own kids as well as other students, we have seen the benefit of problem-solving challenges to improve thinking and teamwork skills — and even to change career paths.
We have been so inspired by our personal experiences, we decided that we had to put on our brainstorming hats and try to figure out ways to increase access to these kinds of quality, potentially life-changing experiences for more kids in APS. Core to our motivation is a desire to make sure that neither economic status nor gender are barriers to participation.
Our founding board is still expanding, and if you would be interested in joining us, please contact us.
What We Do
As part of our mission, we directly organize learning opportunities. We have sponsored Odyssey of the Mind teams, and organized field trips for students to places such as the American Visionary Art Museum and NASA.
We also expand access by financially supporting and connecting students to existing programs and resources. We have raised funds to support scholarships for students so that they will be able to participate, with recipients qualifying by providing proof of their inclusion in another assistance program such as the free and reduced lunch service or Medicaid.
Finally, we are bringing people together to think and discuss ideas. We are exploring if any existing resources in APS could be used differently, and what barriers would need to be overcome to do that. We are exploring ideas to surmount the challenges of finding enough parents traditionally to run these programs, and how to enhance support for the parents who are already volunteering.