Families & the Community

National PTA Plans 100,000 STEM Activities for Families In New Initiative

By Sarah Tully — June 24, 2016 1 min read
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Families will be able to participate in about 100,000 hands-on STEM activities that will be offered in schools and homes across the country through a new initiative.

The National Parent Teacher Association is joining with Mathnasium, a math-only learning center franchise, to provide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences. The free activities will take place both in schools and homes nationwide.

The National PTA started its STEM education and family-engagement initiative in fall 2015 with funding from the Bayer USA Foundation. Earlier this month, the PTA announced that it was partnering with Mathnasium to deliver the math-specific activities. Both Mathnasium and Bayer will provide funding and support for the initiative.

The outreach especially will be in urban areas, as well as to girls and “underrepresented” youth, according to the PTA.

In a survey commissioned by Bayer, about one-third of parents reported that they “don’t feel confident enough in their scientific knowledge to help their children engage in hands-on science activities,” according to the PTA.

“We ... know that families play an important role in helping students navigate educational and career decisions and are influencers of students’ perceptions of what’s possible for their futures,” said Nathan Monell, executive director of the National PTA, in a statement. “Family engagement is critical to strengthen STEM education, support student success in STEM and inspire children to pursue STEM careers.”

Read more about STEM on Education Week’s STEM News page.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the K-12 Parents and the Public blog.