STEAM: CODERS

Assemblyman Chris Holden, Ravi Shah, Charmayne Mills Ealy and Melanie Caldwell-HoldenDebra Samad, Charmayne Mills Ealy, Pixie Boyden and Juanita West-TillmanCharmayne Mills Ealy, Ravi Shah, Congresswoman Judy Chu and Raymond EalyRaymond Ealy, Executive Director, STEAM:CODERS, Dr. Lorne Buchman, President, ArtCenter College of Design and Dana Walker-Juick, Managing Director, Public Programs Director, Art Center at Night.Robert C. Davidson Jr., Assemblyman Chris Holden and Raymond Ealy

From STAFF REPORTS

1:30 pm | December 4, 2015


On Thursday, October 29, 2015, STEAM:CODERS, in conjunction with Pasadena City College (PCC), hosted a STEAM reception at Westerbeck Recital Hall, on the PCC campus. Guest speakers included Congresswoman Judy Chu, State Assemblyman Chris Holden, Pasadena City College Superintendent-President Rajen Vurdien and Art Center College of Design President Dr. Lorne Buchman. The occasion highlighted the importance of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and encouraged educators, business and civic leaders. to collaborate and share resources.

STEAM:CODERS teaches underrepresented and underserved students the fundamentals of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) in preparation for academic and career opportunities. A significant number of students reside in homes without computers or internet connectivity. These factors, among other socio-economic challenges, create major obstacles to student achievement. STEAM:CODERS provides disadvantaged students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the hyper-tech 21st Century – all while making STEAM fun. We want students to imagine the unimaginable.

Despite all the buzz about the dominance of STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) and computer science in school curricula, not everyone is participating – and benefitting – to the fullest extent. Recent statistics indicate that African-Americans, Latinos and females are vastly underrepresented in STEAM education programs and the related workforce. In 2013, only 3.7 percent of African American and 8.1 percent of Latino students sat for the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam. This is troubling since the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that approximately half of all U.S. jobs in STEAM competencies involve computing proficiency. This significant achievement gap in computer science and math for students of color creates an obstacle in overall academic performance and future employment. As a result, students miss out on countless academic and career opportunities.

Pasadena has a wealth of internationally-recognized institutions; Art Center College of Design, Caltech, Jet Propulsion Labs (JPL), Huntington Library and more. However, many local students have not been exposed to these landmarks. In order to better prepare students for academic and career opportunities, STEAM:CODERS is committed to providing students with access to these facilities, instruction and mentoring. Using a curriculum that is age and grade appropriate, students engage in a variety of modules (i.e., Robotics, Mobile App Development, Video Game Development and Cyber Security). A goal of STEAM:CODERS is to make science, technology, engineering, art and math fun and engaging, with the hope that the excitement of learning computer science, creating games, apps and other useful materials – in combination with targeted field trips – will ignite a fire for learning and achievement.

Currently, STEAM:CODERS serves over 550 students in Southern California (Pasadena, Altadena, Los Angeles, Inglewood and Claremont/Pomona). In 2016, STEAM:CODERS plans to partner with the after-school arm of the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD), Pasadena LEARNS, to offer STEAM offerings to PUSD students. Partners include the Art Center College of Design, Harvey Mudd College, California Institute of Technology, Idealab, Innovate Pasadena, Pasadena City College, USC Rossier School of Education and La Salle High School. For more information, visit www.steamcoders.org.