On July 28, 2022, BronxWorks hosted a day of hands-on STEM activities for hundreds of elementary and middle school-aged children in our summer educational programs. The expo was the culmination of a STEM enrichment program funded by Verizon.
In the Fall of 2020, BronxWorks embarked on a two-year partnership with Verizon to implement a Digital Inclusion and STEM Enrichment Program for children enrolled in all of our after-school and summer programs. Verizon committed $325,000 over two years to provide resources necessary for students to engage in remote learning and to enhance STEM lessons, activities, and opportunities within our programs.
At the time the grant was awarded, students in New York City schools were still adjusting to remote learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and many Bronx students faced additional challenges due to inequalities in digital resources and access. To support students and families as they adapted to remote learning and hybrid schedules, BronxWorks worked with the New York City Department of Education to set up Learning Labs, a program that allowed students to have access to our facilities and resources during the school day when they were not able to be home with a parent or guardian.
BronxWorks used part of the Verizon grant to upgrade technology, equipment, and supplies for our after-school and summer programs to provide these Learning Labs and digital access for our students. Funding was also used on a case-by-case basis to purchase laptops, devices, and data plans necessary for students to participate in remote learning. Finally, the grant helped expand BronxWorks STEM programming by supporting a part-time STEM Coordinator and purchasing STEM learning programs and resource kits to engage students in an enhanced STEM curriculum.
The STEM Expo on July 28 commemorated the work that took place over the two years of the Verizon Digital Inclusion and STEM Enrichment grant. The event was held at the BronxWorks Classic Cornerstone Community Center. Hundreds of students from our after-school and summer programs participated in STEM activities, including sound engineering, building their own stethoscopes, and building earthquake resistant buildings out of toothpicks. Over the course of the grant, BronxWorks partnered with STEM organizations like the Salvadori Center, HYPOTHEkids, and Building Beats, who were all guests at the Expo.
BronxWorks is proud of what our programs and participants have accomplished through the Verizon Digital Inclusion Grant. We are thankful to have partners like Verizon who are committed to bringing STEM and digital literacy to the young learners in our communities.”
Eileen Torres, Executive Director, BronxWorks