The STEM Future Foundation Host The WE ALL WIN WITH STEM! Competition For Northern CA Students
The STEM Future Foundation hosted its WE ALL WIN WITH STEM! (WAWS!) competition on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, at Eden Church of Christ in Hayward. The WAWS! Academic Achievement Program is a nationwide research-presentation modeled competition-based program for students in grade levels K-12 that awards winners and their schools or nonprofit organizations prizes for program participation.
Twenty-two Bay Area elementary, middle and high school students competed in the WAWS! Northern CA Championship to move on and compete to become the National Champion. For 6 weeks, these future innovators explored STEM studies and careers through entrepreneurship curriculum, reinforced digital representation of information, creative and algorithmic thinking. The WAWS! Program uses HIMARQS STEM Edition software (the world's first and only online K12 STEM assessment tool) to assess students on STEM topics to pinpoint their curriculum needs and rapidly scale their knowledge of STEM. The students selected STEM careers that piqued their interest to create a presentation on and then share their knowledge and ideas while competing to win a $150 Foot Locker gift card and a Nintendo Switch.
The Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley is the most important political influence helping to provide underserved youth in Alameda County access to the WAWS! Program and attended the STEM competition to support the students, along with competition judges, Hayward City Councilmember Marvin Peixoto and Wells Fargo representative Debra Sabree. The Oakland A's are strong supporters of STEM education for urban youth and helped to support the Bay Area students by donating four MVP level game tickets with parking pass to raffle off at the event. The WE ALL WIN WITH STEM! Program is sponsored by Wells Fargo, Godfather Motorbike Extraordinaire, The Frankenberg Foundation, The Safeway Foundation, and Alameda County.
The WAWS! Program was birthed from the lack of inclusion for young girls and underserved children in STEM studies which is a serious problem plaguing America's future economy and workforce. The fastest growing US sector are STEM careers, but the demographic is so heavily male-dominated and nonminority, there will not be enough well-trained future STEM professionals to fill the need for basic tech jobs. "Similar to our auto industry failing in the past being less technologically advanced than overseas, our tech industry could be facing the same fate," said The STEM Future Foundation Board Executive Dr. Ashanti Johnson, Director of MSPHDS in Earth System Science Initiative for NASA, and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) from the White House.
The WAWS! Program is a sustainable solution to diversifying participation in STEM studies for young girls and underserved youth. "I am proud to support The STEM Future Foundation, WE ALL WIN WITH STEM! Competition promoting more programs and opportunities for underserved students in my district. I believe promoting diversity, equity and inclusion is key to ensuring the potential contributions of people from all backgrounds in STEM," said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, who represents the diverse district-four region that includes East Oakland, Montclair, Castro Valley, Ashland, Cherryland, Fairview, and Pleasanton. The STEM Future Foundation is working to help Silicon Valley nationalize by developing a larger pool of STEM talent throughout urban and rural under-resourced communities to create millions of American jobs across the country.
Top STEM industry leaders, political representatives, and celebrity athletes attended the WE ALL WIN WITH STEM! Fundraiser and Awards Ceremony at the Bellevue Club in Oakland, CA to help support Bay Area's underserved youth have access to quality STEM education and honor six individuals for outstanding community service. The honorees awarded with the 2018 Urban Super Hero Award (USHA) and a Congressional Accommodation from the Honorable Congresswoman Barbara Lee were; Jimmy Neal (President/CEO of Godfather Motorbike Extraordinaire), George Lucas (Filmmaker & Entrepreneur), Dave Kaval (President of Oakland A's), Mayor Willie Brown (Former Speaker of CA State Assembly & 41st Mayor of SF), Hattie Carwell (Former US Department of Energy & International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Scientist), Anthony Melikhov (Executive Producer of "GIVE" on NBC & International Philanthropist).