Windsor - June 8, 2019 - Designing clay cars, painting with algae, learning about engineering careers and making music are just a few of the activities at United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County’s WE-STEAM Kids Summit held on Friday for 200 children at the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts in downtown Windsor.
The WE-STEAM Kids Summit wraps up the pilot year of the United Way program, which aims to bolster young people’s skills and interest in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math subjects (STEAM). The program reached 246 students at nine after school sites across Windsor and Leamington over the last school year, surpassing its goal of 200 students at eight sites.
Students were led through hands-on activities from experts from the University of Windsor and FCA in the areas of engineering, art, music, and automotive design. Activity leaders were also tasked with sparking young minds to the possibility of future STEAM-based career fields.
WE-STEAM employs trained teachers to visit after school programs in priority neighbourhoods once a week. The program is free to the students. WE-STEAM staff incorporate ‘high participation’ activities that encourage kids to be curious, learn discovery skills, ask questions, be creative and problem-solve while working together.
“WE-STEAM introduces children to new ways of working together while exploring science, technology, and art,” says United Way CEO Lorraine Goddard. “We are focused on offering this program to students who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend out of school programming, to give them new opportunities to unlock their potential and aspire to the jobs of the future.”
The WE-STEAM Summit is sponsored by the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario and CPC-Content Processing Centre, and program funder, Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The program will run at three summer camp sites this coming July and August, including Drouillard Place, and YMCA in the city, and the SPARK program in the county.
Key partners who support the program year-round include Windsor-Essex FIRST Robotics, Let’s Talk Science, SMArt, the University of Windsor’s Faculty of Engineering, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.