The Discovery Center Museum announced that it has received a $27,422 grant for STEM Learning Opportunities in Rockford School District 205 After School Achievement Program (ASAP) and United Way After School Program. The grant was awarded by the Barber-Colman Management Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ Community Grants Program.
For 16 years Discovery Center has collaborated with Rockford Public Schools, participating in the District’s After School Achievement Program (ASAP) to provide learning opportunities related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
During the last three years, Discovery Center has served as lead agency in multiple schools, coordinating staff to provide homework assistance, skill building, and STEM enrichment activities for 140 days each school year.
Discovery Center currently has programming at Conklin and Lathrop elementary schools, as well as the United Way-funded Nelson after-school program. Students who participate in the ASAP show positive growth in math and reading on local assessments.
With funding from CFNIL, STEM learning opportunities are being expanded to an additional nine after-school programs in District 205. Discovery Center will deliver hands-on interactive STEM activities twice a month to the schools and host a school-wide STEM Family Night at each school. In addition, all students in the ASAP program will visit Discovery Center on a STEM focused field trip. Focused field trips combine time interacting with museum exhibits, as well as hands-on activities and instruction in a museum classroom that focus on a particular science topic.
“Encouraging children and their families to explore science and math is the core of our mission,” explains Discovery Center executive Director Sarah Wolf. “This grant will expand the opportunities for students in the Rockford after school programs to have fun, hands-on experiences with science and hopefully spark interest in science and math beyond their classroom and museum experiences,” Wolf adds.