The week of June 12, 2017, EconAlliance coordinated with Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) and numerous industry partners to bring students from two low-income neighborhoods a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Industry Day Camp. The STEM Industry Day Camp is an element of the WALI-inspired Working Neighborhoods Initiative*, which is co-facilitated by EconAlliance, United Way NSBC, and Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. Transportation and some workshop supplies for the high school sessions were funded by Santa Maria Joint Union High School District’s Career Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) to Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. Since the purpose of the STEM Industry Day Camp was to introduce students to different STEM jobs and career fields and to the relationship of STEM disciplines to various industries and “real-world” work, EconAlliance recruited industry partners to develop and lead the STEM workshops and/or tours. STEM industry workshop volunteers were provided by Aera Energy, CoastHills Credit Union, Mob Armor, Nagy Wines and Santa Maria Energy. STEM-related industry tours were hosted by Atlas-Copco, Hardy Diagnostics, and Zodiac Aerospace.
Teens from the PSHH affordable housing farmworker community of Riverview in Guadalupe joined teens from Los Adobes de Maria in Santa Maria for a three-hour STEM high school workshop in the morning, and Los Adobes de Maria elementary students in the after-school program participated in a STEM afternoon workshop. Students of both age groups were exposed to science (Monday), Technology (Tuesday), Engineering (Wednesday), and Math (Thursday), with Friday tours to three Santa Maria STEM-related industry sites.
*The Working Neighborhoods Initiative is a WALI-inspired effort involving 10+ partner organizations to bring strategic family literacy and workforce development services to six low-income neighborhoods in Northern Santa Barbara County, five of which are anchored by Peoples Self-Help Housing communities.>