UTeach Outreach, College of Natural Sciences receives 2015 Summer STEM grant for UT PREP STEM Pipeline summer camps

UTeach Outreach, College of Natural Sciences receives 2015 Summer STEM grant for UT PREP STEM Pipeline summer camps


The Central Texas Summer STEM Collaborative recently announced grants totaling $908,109 to nonprofit organizations and schools focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through high-quality educational programs for students K–12 in areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). More than 4,000 students throughout Austin and Central Texas will benefit this summer.

The collaborative, comprised of local charitable foundations as well as local high‐tech companies, is actively developing a local STEM ecosystem following national best practices to improve opportunities for students from low‐income families.

For many children, the summer months mean enriching experiences such as camp, travel and museum visits, but for others summer is filled with boredom, lost opportunities and risk. This disparity in learning opportunities is a significant part of why low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.

"Summer Learning Loss accounts for as much as two-thirds of the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers," said Melanie Moore, Executive Director of the KDK-Harman Foundation. "The KDK‐Harman Foundation is working to leverage resources across the Austin area to provide high‐quality academic enrichment activities for K‐12 students who might not otherwise have access to such opportunities. We are thrilled that so many other funders share this vision and are so eager to work together for our community's students."

The goal of the Summer STEM Grant Program is to help combat learning loss experienced by economically disadvantaged children in Central Texas by engaging them in STEM learning. Such a targeted approach aims to lay the groundwork for building a STEM worker pipeline. Currently, Central Texas’ demand for such workers far exceeds the supply.

The Central Texas Summer STEM Funder Collaborative is comprised of KDK-Harman Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation, KLE Foundation, RGK Foundation, Webber Family Foundation, Intel, Samsung, IBM, Entrepreneur's Foundation, Central Texas Discover Engineering and Texas Girls Collaborative.