New Reading Initiative: STEM Stars Are Readers!

We have noticed through our CA Math & Science Challenge work in underserved communities that even our “STEM Stars” (the top performers in math, engineering design, coding, and problem solving: the students with a true love of the game) often struggle to reach their potential as “STEM Stars” due to poor reading skills.


Success in STEM careers is highly dependent on the ability to become an Expert Reader in your field of study (engineering, physics, medicine, computer science, mathematics, etc.). What holds many children from underserved communities back, as most teachers now realize, are:
  1. the lack of STEM books or the habit of reading STEM books at home or in the classroom
  2. the oral vocabulary gap they bring with them as kindergarteners, which is related to home environment and which limits reading comprehension skills after 2nd grade.

To help our students overcome these two obstacles we have started an independent reading initiative called STEM STARS ARE READERS! to encourage K-8 students to get in the habit of reading  science and math books. These titles will be available for sale at our Math Science Challenge Events and our website and we will work with our sponsors to purchase them and make them available free-of-charge to classroom teachers.
  • One of our first titles is by a local electrical engineering professor Pamela Cosman (UCSD) who wrote a book, The Secret Code Menace: Cold Fusion, to introduce children to binary code used in machine learning code and chip design.

To help our STEM stars close the Vocabulary-Reading gap, we are partnering with Activated Reader: Vocabulary Powered Reading Lab. We will make the Activated Reading Lab available to our STEM Stars through their teachers, and through after-school programs, libraries, and youth centers.

Reading Flight Simulator-iPad Version

  • Activated Reading Lab is a vocabulary-powered reading “flight simulator“ designed to help kids who arrive in kindergarten 3,000 to 4,000 words behind their peers build the word power and get the guided reading practice they need to become Expert Readers. The program is available only through school subscriptions and to select organizations helping at risk youths and fighting the high school drop out crisis.
  • Activated Reader operating principlesWe Make Tools for Teachers • Protect Student Privacy • Believe Less (Tech) is More • Conduct Rigorous Effect-Size Research • Believe in Accessibility &  Affordability  • We Believe Democracy & Freedom Depend on Reading!

Make a Donation to Support All CA Math & Science Reading Initiatives:
  • STEM Stars Are Readers! — Science Reading & Listening Libraries
  • Activate to Graduate! — We close the gap to help you earn your cap.
  • “Open Doors” — Activated Reading Prison Lab/Seminar Program.

San Diego Futures Foundation • March 23 STEMFest!

SDFF is a great organization that has been helping San Diego children get access to technology for over 20 years. They held a wonderful STEMfest at Copley YMCA on March 23.



Intro to K-2 Robotics with Pro-Bot® “Racer” Robot


Intro to 3rd-8th Grade Coding in C and Engineering– with Junior Botball

Winter 2019 Math & Science Challenge Events • Junior Botball Regionals: April 20!

The rainy season is perfect for indoor Saturday indoor Math & Science Challenge Events!


Math & Science Challenge Events are non-competitive “tournaments”  that allow K-8 students to experience the excitement of working to solve robotics challenges in the Arena.


Today we held our second Math & Science Challenge Event of 2019. Thank you to  Hoover High and Wilson Middle School for hosting.


And thank you for the ongoing support of the San Diego Rotary Club, the Hoover High Computer Club and Teacher Jack Wetzel, and Pam Pham and the other Hoover Cluster Elementary Teachers. They have worked together to create a fabulous early learning STEM culture for their students!

Rotary Club of San Diego have joined with school principals to promote  robotics based STEM

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“The World is Waiting” || STEM Poetry Motivation (Dr. Nehemiah Mabry)

“Is your organization striving to attract and retain more young people into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) areas? Are you aiming to increase the number of gender and ethnically diverse students who enter STEM educational programs and career fields?” — Dr. Mabry

With a message that resonates completely with the work that we do at CA Math & Science Challenge, Dr. Mabry provides insight into the answers in his powerful motivational video. Thank you for the work you’re doing to empower our future’s future.

"The World is Waiting" || STEM Poetry Motivation (Dr. Nehemiah Mabry)

“School Champion” • Jr Botball 2018-19 Kickoff • Thur, Oct 4th • Wilson Middle School

Students attending the SD Botball Regional Tournament!

“We will be kicking off the School Year with a meeting of the School Champions on Thursday, October 4, from 4:30 to 5:30pm at Wilson Middle School ( 3838 Orange Ave., San Diego, 92105)..  There will be familiar School Champions present, as well as some new Champions to meet, and it is always encouraging to have Rotary well represented at this initial meeting of the School Champions.

I view Rotary’s role as a facilitator for STEM projects, and some new projects will be presented to the Champions, as well as the popular Jr. Botball Robotics program.

Our Lead Coordinators this year will again be Phet Pease and Lily Vu Brown, and attached is Phet’s invitation to the School Champions and Principals to attend.”

Best of regards,
Doug Arbon
San Diego Rotary STEM Committee


Greetings Champions and Principals,

My name is Phet Pease and I teach STEM electives at Wilson Middle School. Over the past several years, Wilson has been working with the San Diego Rotary Club as part of their Rotary STEM Initiative, which makes a variety of STEM programs available to local schools. On behalf of the Hoover Cluster STEM leadership team, I would like to invite you to our STEM kick off meeting on Thursday, October 4th.

  • WHO: Hoover Cluster STEM Champions (or those who aspire to become one!)
  • WHERE: Wilson Middle School, 3838 Orange Ave, SD, CA 92105 in the library
  • WHEN: Thursday, October 4th from 4:30 – 5:30 PM
  • WHAT: Teaming up to provide more STEM opportunities for our students
  • WHY: To provide a Support Group for STEM champions across the Hoover Cluster

Light food and beverages will be provided! Each participating Hoover Cluster school that is represented at the meet up will receive a free gift for your site!

Please extend this invitation to other colleagues at your school site or anyone else who you think might be interested! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Phet Pease

ST Math Blog: Engagement Thrives When Students Own Their Learning


Excerpt: “Creating a Classroom Environment That Fosters Engagement…

As someone who has been designing visual goal setting and feedback systems for years, the  CA Math & Science Challenge! designer thought that “the unifying goal of always working to help JiJi the penguin cross the screen in ST Math, no matter what the math concept, was brilliant,” and that ST Math’s visual feedback system was first rate. “The students always have a sense of progress and momentum. That goes a long way toward explaining why ST Math is so successful across many different schools and districts.”

Although ST Math was a game-changer, he  knew that for the program to truly be effective, there is still a large role for administrators and teachers to play.

Schools often need help with two areas. The first is figuring out how to embed ST Math into school culture and goal setting systems to increase student engagement in school and at home. The second is discovering how to motivate teachers to play and understand every ST Math topic, and each game’s math learning goals for the grade they teach. This prepares them to integrate ST Math into their math instruction and to apply the concepts that students are mastering to other subjects.”

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Want more diversity in STEM? • A Good Beginning Never Ends! • K-6 STEM Curriculum

CA Math & Science Challenge! • K-6 STEM Sequence
If we want American math & science “athletes” to be stay competitive, we need to get every American child playing the game at a young age —giving them a lifelong Early Learning Advantage  •  “A good beginning  ever ends… “


A Science and Information Technology Program modeled on the US Olympic Development Program.

Three steps to developing world-class math and science “athletes”:
  • Step 1: Get young children playing the “Game” of Math & Science–at a young age; 
  • Step 2: Identify those with a true love for that game; 
  • Step 3: Get them World-class Coaching in a Special Math & Science Learning Environment, an Active Learning Zone™.

• sTEm =  science Technology Engineering mathematics
• I.T. =  Information Technology


Teacher Training: K-2 ROBOTICS • “The Power of Project Trees”


#EarlyEd, #GirlsCanCode, #CSForALL

GoFundMe: STEM Programs for Underserved Youth


TEACHERS NEED HELP to get more kids playing the game of math and science.

Teaching is tough! Especially teaching STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math). In fact a recent study identified significant obstacles elementary schools face when they try to create world class hands-on STEM programs.

To learn how you can help us train STEM Teachers, please visit my GoFundMe Campaign