49ers Travel to SXSWedu to Talk Football + Education
By: Emily Lucas, 49ers Communications Staff
The week of March 6th, the San Francisco 49ers STEAM Education Program traveled to Austin, TX, to present for the first time at the seventh annual South by Southwest Education (SXSWedu) Conference.
For its efforts in uniquely reaching 150,000 Bay Area K-8 students – free of charge – since opening the 49ers STEAM Education Program in 2014, 49ers Museum and STEAM Education Director Jesse Lovejoy spoke to a crowd of teachers and influencers from across the globe on how the 49ers leverage the game of football to better engage young students in the concepts of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).
The 49ers STEAM Education Program, housed in the state-of-the-art Denise DeBartolo York Education Center within Levi’s® Stadium, is a four-part field trip experience that includes a STEAM lesson, exploration of the 49ers Museum presented by Sony, a stadium tour, and a movement lab – leveraging football as a platform to connect, inspire and engage each student while teaching them how STEAM makes up all parts of their world.
“The York family has had a longstanding commitment to youth education, and their philosophy – along with their integral support – was vital to our education program’s exponential growth and success in just under three years,” said Lovejoy. “To have a global influencer in education like SXSWedu welcome the 49ers to share our unique success story and impact in STEAM education is an incredible validation of the quality of our program and what it offers students across the San Francisco Bay Area.”
To continue students’ education beyond the 49ers STEAM Education Program visit at the stadium, the 49ers recently partnered with Khan Academy – the world’s leading free online education platform. As the first professional sports franchise to partner with the renowned leader in education, the 49ers free online content now extends the 49ers education program’s reach into the schools and homes of any student or teacher with an internet connection for continuing STEAM education through the lens of football.
As the leading professional sports organization in the support of STEAM learning concepts for youth, the 49ers Denise DeBartolo York Education Center was also a finalist in SXSWedu’s inaugural Learn by Design hosted by SHP, which focuses on the design of the physical learning spaces and their potential to impact learning outcomes.
The 49ers efforts in education additionally translate to the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute’s Chevron STEMZONE at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, Calif., where a six-year curriculum that begins in seventh grade and continues through high school seeks to prepare students with high academic potential to be outstanding in STEM. The STEM Leadership Institute, launched in 2014 in partnership between the 49ers, Chevron, the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, and the Santa Clara Unified School District, currently hosts three cohorts of scholars totaling 180 students enrolled in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade program, which expanded to Santa Clara High School in fall 2016.