Community Engagement STEM

Institute for School Partnership and The Little Bit Foundation to provide free STEM materials alongside drive-thru meals

ST. LOUIS, MO, May 05, 2020 — The Institute for School Partnership at Washington University in St. Louis wants to keep STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning going for the tens of thousands of homebound students in St. Louis City and St. Louis County by providing them with STEM classroom activities that they can do at home. The ISP has partnered with The Little Bit Foundation (TLBF) to develop and distribute STEM Challenges for students and families participating in  school-based drive-thru meal service programs. Since 2018, ISP and TLBF have collaborated to offer project-based STEM learning to the classroom through its mySci Do programming. 
“We recognize that there are wide swaths of the region where students have limited or no access to technology. We knew we needed to come up with an offline option to keep these students engaged,” said Victoria L. May, executive director of WashU’s Institute for School Partnership. “We are thrilled to partner with a local foundation to address this problem and offer these activities that can be done throughout the summer.”
Through this new collaboration, TLBF will provide families with free STEM kits at eight school food distribution locations. The initial distribution occurred on Monday, May 4, 2020. New STEM Challenge kits will be distributed every two weeks. Additional kit deliveries will occur on May 18, June 1 and June 16. TLBF partners with schools where 90% to 100% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Each family will receive a STEM Challenge bag containing materials and directions, while supplies last. Students that complete their STEM activity can join an online challenge and win prizes. 
“The Little Bit Foundation believes that providing STEM kits during these uncertain times is a great way for students to stay engaged in the STEM thinking process while at home,” said Rosemary Hanley, The Little Bit Foundation CEO and Co-Founder. “The kits provided are fun, educational and continue our mission of enriching the academic experience, even during these uncertain times.”
The STEM Challenge kits are handed out at the following distribution locations:

  • St. Louis County Library, Lewis & Clark Branch
  • Dellwood Recreation Center
  • Zion Travelers Missionary Church
  • Kenneth C Hanrahan Elementary School
  • Nance Elementary School
  • Yeatman-Liddell Prepatory Middle School
  • Sigel Elementary School
  • Peabody Elementary School

This new STEM Challenges initiative is made possible by the generous support of the Josh Seidel Memorial Foundation and STEMpact.
Here is a link to the STEM Challenges: https://stemchallenges.wustl.edu.