The Skyhook Foundation and Panasonic Corporation of North American, which have been working with Los Angeles Unified School District to bring mobile STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – classrooms and outdoor education to students during the pandemic, have been recognized with a Corporate Social Responsibility Award by the Global Business Alliance.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation is about to introduce its fourth Eco-Van to visit school sites and provide students with hands-on outdoor learning experiences in STEM and environmental science. The program works with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA and the UCLA Science Project to provide lessons about our amazing planet. Each van has a theme that focuses on different parts of Earth: the hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere and atmosphere.
“We know the best learning happens in the classroom, but this hasn’t been possible due to dangerous levels of COVID in the Los Angeles area,” LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “Bringing STEM activities to students helps them learn and grow despite the challenges this crisis has presented.”
This mobile program is an extension of Camp Skyhook, Los Angeles Unified’s outdoor campus in the Angeles National Forest that provides immersive, hands-on STEM opportunities for fourth- and fifth-grade students. Camp Skyhook has served more than 15,000 students, 80% of whom learned English as a second language and over 70% who have limited or no experiences in natural environments.
“During these challenging times for students and teachers, Eco-Vans help provide STEM education,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Together with Los Angeles Unified, we are also committed to using the program to actively bring an end to the pandemic through health information and life-saving vaccines to families at schools.”
The Global Responsibility Award recognizes efforts by international companies to support programs in local communities.
“It moves us to support initiatives that we know will deliver these critical curriculums early and set the next generation up to thrive in and shape the 21st century economy,” said Jeff Werner, vice president, corporate and government affairs at Panasonic Corporation of North America.
For information, visit lausd.net.
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