Media Contact: Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
Santa Ana, CA. (May 2, 2016) – THINK Together is pleased to announce it has received a $15,000 grant from the Western Digital Foundation to support THINK’s innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs in the Newark Unified School District.
This generous support from the Western Digital Foundation will allow THINK Together to provide its high-quality, STEM programs after school to over 200 students at three schools during the 2016-17 school year. Each program site is staffed by a full-time Site Coordinator and part-time Program Leaders sufficient to maintain a 20:1 student-to-adult ratio. THINK Together recruits volunteer tutors from local colleges, universities and businesses to help reduce the ratio and give students more individualized attention.
“THINK Together’s goal is to increase the number of high-need students in Alameda County with access to rigorous and engaging learning opportunities in STEM education which will engage them in the process of scientific method and support the Common Core Standards” says Randy Barth, CEO of THINK Together.
Students will learn to ask scientific questions, then formulate and test their hypotheses through experiments. These activities will align with Common Core Standards, which focus on applied learning, and will ultimately result in improved academic achievement and preparation for college and career choices.
“Our STEM curriculum takes students through the scientific method and the engineering design process. Each unit has a strong focus on making observations, asking questions, predicting, and providing evidence for claims,” says Barth.
All of the experiments and design projects are hands-on and student-centered. The unit topics are Food Science, Earthquakes & Engineering, and Forces of Flight. The breadth of topics keeps students engaged, and all the lesson topics can easily be connected to real careers.
The Western Digital Foundation awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. “We are truly excited to support THINK Together’s efforts to engage young people in creative, scientific learning,” says Rose Krupp, Director of the Western Digital Foundation and Global Community Relations. “Education, especially the STEM disciplines, is a key focus of our corporate philanthropy. These critical skills are the basis for the next generation of high-tech, highly-skilled workers. It’s very possible that these students could be Western Digital engineers in a few years!”
THINK Together is a nonprofit organization collaborating with communities, parents, teachers, administrators and other stakeholders to help transform and galvanize the K-12 educational system, creating excellence and equity for all kids. THINK Together is California’s largest provider of Expanded Learning Time programs. Through its affiliate, Principal’s Exchange, THINK Together also provides research, professional development and consulting to underserved schools. Combined, THINK Together and Principal’s Exchange serve over 150,000 students at more than 400 locations across more than 45 school districts from Silicon Valley to San Diego. Partnering with school administrators and teachers, THINK Together’s dedicated team of more than 2,500 employees are helping students statewide reach their full potential. THINK is an acronym: Teaching, Helping, Inspiring & Nurturing Kids. For more information, call 888.485.THINK or visit THINKtogether.org or Facebook.com/THINKTogether.
About the Western Digital Foundation
As a global corporate citizen, the mission of the Western Digital Foundation is to promote and execute the global philanthropic vision of Western Digital Corporation (WDC) and to respond to the needs of the communities in which the company operates and where its employees live. The current focus areas for the Western Digital Foundation include education, basic needs, and civic and community. These philanthropic priorities are addressed through five core functions of the Foundation: Community Grants, Product Donations, Global Disaster Relief, Employee Volunteer Programs and Employee Matching Gift Programs. To learn more, visit wdc.com.