Six Madison Community Centers, Edgewood College, and the University of Wisconsin launch the COMETS STEM Program
Thanks to a three year, $330,000 grant from the Madison Community Foundation, a collaboration of six community centers (Bridge Lake Point, East Madison, Goodman, Kennedy Heights, Lussier, and Vera Court are launching an exciting new STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) program led by the University of Wisconsin and Edgewood College. COMETS or Creating Opportunity in Math, Engineering, Technology and Science, will provide 400 unduplicated youth and 350 parents with 450 STEM sessions.
"Our children deserve all possible opportunities to help them be active learners, fulfilled individuals, and successful professionals. The COMETS program is such an opportunity. The Madison Community Foundation is proud to be a partner in this effort with the community center collaborative, UW-Madison, and Edgewood College," said Amy Overby, Vice President of Donor Relations.
In all of the efforts to address the achievement gap, the fact that we are working with children sometimes seems to get lost in the noise of curricula, standards, and educational models. School programs are put under tremendous pressure to tutor, test, and drill which can minimize the time available for the basic building block of learning, the joy of discovery. Research is showing that interest in a science, enjoyment of it, and belief in one's own ability are critical if children are going to pursue science-related education and careers. All you have to do is spend five minutes in a community center afterschool program, and you will be quickly reminded that learning can be fun.
The project aims to reduce the MMSD achievement gap of low income children and children of color. The six partnering centers will offer a consistent and significant dosage of fun and engaging science.
The mission of the Edgewood Office of Science Outreach is to support the application of science education to address societal needs and to help create a scientifically literate population through interaction with communities and groups beyond the Edgewood boundaries.
The Office of Science Outreach encourages and assists Edgewood faculty, staff and students to engage in science outreach activities targeted at our community's youth, school teachers, and general public that will increase their understanding, interest, and involvement in science and environmental issues.