Cincy Inc. and schools partner to improve STEAM curriculum
Cincinnati Incorporated and Southwest Local School District have partnered to bring students of all grades a more comprehensive STEAM program.
STEAM introduces students to science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, and how they all work together. SLSD introduced Miamitown Elementary to the program this past spring and to the rest of the schools this year.
Through STEAM, students can explore how these crucial studies change the world, and how they can form career goals through education.
Representatives from Cincinnati Incorporated recently met with the SLSD administrators to discuss partnering on STEAM initiatives at Harrison Junior School and Harrison High School.
Cincinnati Incorporated President and CEO Carey Chen, along with several engineers and staff representatives, toured the two schools and learned of the plans to expand STEAM throughout the district.
The conversation follows a recent financial donation by CI to support SLSD’s STEAM programs. The donation will supplement the curriculum and activities offered in the junior high and high school.
Cincinnati Incorporated is a local company that makes machinery tool manufacturing. The partnership with SLSD involves financial help, along with employees working with students in a variety of ways.
“On behalf of the employees of CI and our related non-profit organization, Cincinnati Incorporated Charitable Foundation, we are pleased to support this local STEAM initiative. We are optimistic that some of the students that will benefit from this targeted educational offering will eventually join CI as employees.” said Chen.
The CICF was started in the 1960s as the Whitewater Foundation but changed names when Chen became CEO a few years ago. A group of volunteer employees plan each year on how foundation money is used, focused around one of four tracks: children, STEM, military and veterans, and the elderly.
SLSD’s STEAM program covers two of the four categories with children and STEM as its focus.
“If we help the community, we can give them a better life, and we, in turn, get a deeper pool of candidates. It goes full circle,” said Chen.
The financial portion of the partnership was an undisclosed amount given to SLSD to start building “maker space” at the Junior School to help make STEAM a little more hands-on for students. Harrison High School already has the use of a maker space, said Assistant Superintendent Corienne Hayes.
SLSD hopes to build a maker space that includes a 3D printer, micro-controllers to make arcade style video games, and robotics equipment, said Hayes.
“The partnership with Cincinnati Incorporated goes to all grade levels. The K-12 we are hoping to have engineers from the company come in and help teach lessons and co-teach STEAM lessons. There also will be chances for high school students to job shadow and for internships,” said Hayes.
“We’re grateful for the financial support, and are excited that Cincinnati Incorporated is considering how to work with our schools to grow these collaborations, which will benefit both our students and this community,” said Superintendent John Hamstra.
“They are truly stepping up and supporting our students and schools, and we look forward to an ongoing partnership.”
SLSD hopes to continue forming partnerships with local companies that feed into the tech business in some way, said Hamstra, adding the corporation has a meeting scheduled with Cincinnati Test Systems, which recently was visited by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“We are building a homegrown pipeline with students in the community. They see careers in technology in Harrison, and they get interested in careers here,” said Hamstra.