The Greater Alabama Black Belt Region STEM Initiative increases college readiness among students in grades 6-11 by expanding their content knowledge in core subject areas, allowing them to progress toward college/university admission and successful studies in STEM.
Five-week STEM Summer Academies have been held since 2018 where these students participate in math, science, and English courses taught by Auburn University graduate students.
In addition, students have had the opportunity to participate in hands-on learning activities, virtual NASA simulations, and field trips to Franklin Field Airport in Union Springs, Southern Power Plant Franklin in Smiths Station, the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, and the Auburn University Regional Airport and Auburn University campus.
Help us further enhance their hands-on learning by purchasing drones so that students can build, configure, and program them, at the same time using science, algebra, and geometry!
The affordable but sophisticated DJI Ryze Tello has been selected for this project. We plan to purchase 40 drones at $250 each, for a project total of $10,000.
Students will work together to program these drones to do a variety of tasks, including taking pictures of specific locations to address specified societal challenges and their impacts. In particular, students will learn about engineering design, physical science (e.g. motion and force), computer science (coding and programming), and mathematics (algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus) in a single activity using mathematical tools.
By supporting our project, you will help more students from Alabama’s Black Belt Region be college-ready, enabling them to come to Auburn University, major in STEM disciplines, and go on to enjoy successful STEM careers.
As a result of these summer classes and enrichment experiences, students have made substantial gains in their learning—participants have significantly raised their test scores over the course of the academies in all grade levels and subjects, with the biggest gains coming in the older grade levels mathematics and science courses. In each of the 9th and 10th grade mathematics and science courses in 2020, scores improved on average by at least 30 points. Students have also shown increases in their levels of self-confidence to succeed in school, interest in STEM careers, and commitment to go to college.