49ers Foundation to Launch STEM Leadership Institute

Monday, July 14, 2014

One day after cutting the ribbon on Levi’s® Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers will unveil an entirely different center of excellence to benefit the Santa Clara community. On Friday, July 18th, the 49ers Foundation – in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF), the Santa Clara Unified School District (SCUSD) and Chevron – will introduce the inaugural class of the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute and its new, state-of-the art classroom.

The Celebration of Scholars event will be highlighted by the drafting of the Class of 2020 Scholars and culminate with the ribbon cutting and opening of the Chevron STEM Zone, an interactive space at Santa Clara’s Cabrillo Middle School for students to learn how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are connected to everyday life. The innovative, interactive classroom and engaging STEM curriculum, have been developed with SVEF and SCUSD as a significant component of the $4 million investment made by the 49ers Foundation and Chevron to create a results-focused learning environment and give additional advanced education opportunities for Santa Clara area students.

“On and off the field, talent alone will not lead to success,” said John York, Co-Chairman of the San Francisco 49ers. “The game changer for promising future leaders is to provide a stimulating environment where their natural talent and drive will be fed by motivating mentors, meaningful activities, and academic enrichment. The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute’s vision is to be a leader in STEM education, preparing and inspiring talented learners to meet the challenges of the global society through innovation, collaboration and creative problem solving.”

Friday’s ceremony will include 49ers ownership, Chevron executives, 49ers alumni and players, along with SCUSD and Cabrillo Middle School leadership and Santa Clara elected officials, who will join the class of 2020 as they are inducted into the Institute. During the event, Chevron, SCUSD and SVEF will provide the nearly 60 students and guests with a STEM-based kickoff lesson focused on the Science of Football.

The STEM Leadership Institute is a long-term commitment, funded by the 49ers Foundation, Chevron and other collaborative partners, which will provide academically talented, yet under-resourced students the tools needed to grow and enhance their talents in STEM fields. The Institute will recruit rising seventh grade students each year from SCUSD who show academic promise. The Institute will then prepare them to engage in scientific research, impactful community-changing projects, or become entrepreneurs—putting them on the path to pursue a STEM major at a top-tier university.

The shared vision of the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute and Chevron STEM Zone is to build future leaders in STEM. The program will focus on four main areas: 1.) Academic excellence, 2.) Leadership development, 3.) Task commitment (through increased risk-taking, determination and initiative) and 4.) Creativity (by developing of curiosity and imagination).

“Chevron is proud to partner with the 49ers to provide these hardworking, deserving students with the tools they need to expand their talents,” said Steve Green, vice president of Policy, Government and Public Affairs for Chevron Corporation. “As we continue to strengthen our investment in and commitment to STEM, we are excited to support these students as they work to develop the practical and critical thinking skills needed to become tomorrow’s inventors and innovators.”

Chevron champions STEM education in the United States from grades K to 12 and beyond. Their programs and education partnerships are designed to help students and teachers get the tools and resources to maximize the benefits of a STEM education. Chevron has invested more than $100 million in education in the U.S. over the last three years and their contribution to the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute is part of their pledge to invest an additional $30 million through 2015 to support STEM education.

“We are excited and grateful to John York, the 49ers, and Chevron for generously supporting this unique project that gives STEM-focused students a chance to reach for college and career success,” said Muhammed Chaudhry, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. “Nurturing students starting in middle school will better prepare them to achieve entry to top-tier universities and inspire them to become Silicon Valley’s next generation of leaders and innovators.” 

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