The funds from a new $60,000 grant will be used to bring Startup Tech programs to students in under-resourced communities and traditionally under-represented groups in STEM, including girls, urban and minority youth.
“We value the commitment All Points North Foundation has made to help us prepare young people for the future of work. The students we serve are interested in and excited by opportunities to explore STEM careers,” said Jeannine Schloss, Interim Vice President of Regional Operations at NFTE. “Thanks to partners such as All Points North Foundation, we’re able to introduce younger students to entrepreneurship fundamentals while they learn how to design and build functional mobile apps. The middle-schoolers in our Startup Tech programs even gain experience presenting their business ideas once they’ve built their apps through the Startup Tech Showcase events held at the end of the year.”
“All Points North Foundation recognizes the vital importance of the middle-school years in shaping the future of our nation’s youth,” said Tony Moten, Director of Education Grant Partnerships, All Points North Foundation. “We are pleased to support NFTE’s Startup Tech program as it not only empowers students to think and act like entrepreneurs but also provides important professional development training to middle-school teachers who are essential to the success of the program,” he said.
Among the initiatives that a prior grant from All Points North Foundation supported was NFTE’s COVID response early in 2020, when resources for Startup Tech teachers and students were expanded and adapted for a variety of learning scenarios: in-person teacher-led classroom learning, remote learning, and hybrid blended learning. While these tools were designed to aid schools during COVID disruptions, educators quickly saw how useful the adaptations would be even after pandemic restrictions eased.
Early in the course of the pandemic, NFTE rolled out expanded tech tips and enhanced tools for teachers and students, including a teacher Helpdesk, modified lessons for remote/distanced engagement, digital foundations lessons, digital student reflection worksheets, and engaging video content. The distance learning modifications helped teachers adapt lessons successfully, whether they taught in a high-tech or a no-tech environment. NFTE’s Digital Engagement Resource Guide offered educators helpful perspective on a various digital tools and learning management systems, and NFTE’s Digital Learning Tools tutorial not only offered teachers a basic routine to follow but also techniques for using breakout rooms on conference calls more effectively, understanding the pros and cons of various engagement tools, and ways to create a fun and supportive classroom culture even when forced to go fully virtual.