100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis and Boy Scouts of Greater Saint Louis share a common interest to cultivate and grow the next generation of leaders in the fields Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Inspiring creativity, curiosity, and imagination, while building upon basic analytical and problem solving skills are a few of the core components driving the technological advances that continue to shape the course of the 21st century. The STEM Leadership Academy hosted at Hodgen Elementary is an ongoing program designed to expose students in Grades 2 through 6 to foundational STEM concepts through participation in the worldwide FIRST Lego League competition. 

Business Issue / Opportunity

Today’s students are increasingly asked to memorize facts out of a book instead of developing and utilizing their natural curiosity and interests. This pattern and practice is particularly devastating in at-risk neighborhoods and schools where resources are limited and educators are not able to supplement the mandated coursework with “non-standard” materials. With these educational disparities manifesting themselves in students at a young age, this leads to:

  • Self-doubt and a self-defeating perception that STEM subjects are too difficult to succeed in
  • Low expectations and tunnel vision when setting long-term goals and selecting career interests
  • Smaller pool of qualified workforce entrants in STEM related disciplines

Program Business Goals  

  • Stimulate interest in real-world learning through hands-on exploration of robotics and introduce foundational STEM concepts
  • Introduce students to a variety of exciting STEM careers and opportunities
  • Support the development of critical thinking and reasoning skills

Program Timeline / Frequency

  • Regular sessions will convene every Tuesday and Thursday from January to May and from September to November in 2016.
  • Special Saturday sessions facilitated by the St. Louis Boy Scouts – Times and Locations TBD

Program Measurable(s)

  • Number of program participants
  • Percentage of core classroom activities completed and demonstrated by each student
  • Number of students / teams entered into the FIRST robotics competition
  • Final team results at the St. Louis regional FIRST robotics competition
  • Overall student and parent satisfaction as measured through surveys and/or interviews