The mission of Future Stars is to provide opportunities for inner city youth to achieve their goals in higher education, with a focus on sports and technology.
Future Stars, Inc. provides opportunity for inner city youth to achieve their goals of higher education through sports and technology. Our programming includes college readiness, mentoring and technology workshops. The Hands On STEM program was launched five years ago which allows for kinesthetic learning. Kinesthetic learning is a style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations.
We launched in the fall of 2015 at the Faye Gray Recreation Center with approximately 25 students. The program runs from September through May and meets twice a month for two hours. In the third year of the program we expanded to the Muriel Smith Recreation Center. The program is held on the first Saturday of the month for four hours were the students are provided breakfast snacks, lunch and two hands on activities. The students are learning about science, technology, engineering and math through building, breaking, creating, and having fun.
The Hands On STEM program is held in two communities in South Phoenix where there is a minority population of 86%; 29% of the residents have less than a high school education and more than 26% of the families are living in poverty (AzMag.gov). Demographic data shows only 14% of the area residents have a college degree. Future Stars will benefit program participants by: introducing low-income students to STEM academic areas; introduce a hands-on approach to learning and improving academic enjoyment among participants; building team work; developing trusting relationships; increasing critical thinking, improving safety and supporting common core learning elements.
The impact the Hands On STEM program has had on the students goes beyond the data/numbers and the pre and post survey. The students have developed confidence in themselves, critical thinking skills and improved their ability to solve problems. There is a motto in the class were the students are not to use the word “can’t” when working on a project. We do not say it did not work or it is broken we say let’s “reengineer it” to figure out why it is not working. The words that we speak are all positive so they know they can do anything!
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