Making STEAM Dreams Come True, One Kit at a Time

At Western Digital, we’re
helping make STEAM dreams come true for the next generation of scientists,
technologists, engineers, artists and mathematicians by partnering with the San
Jose Sharks Foundation and Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT). RAFT is a Bay Area-based
non-profit that provides teachers with fun and engaging supplemental lesson
plans for their students, as well as activity kits, office supplies, and arts
and crafts materials.

Western Digital has provided
financial support for RAFT’s programs since 2009, so the prospect of helping
this great non-profit partner expand their reach and scale was exciting! Together
with the Sharks Foundation, a pledge of $100,000 was made to help RAFT build
their “Pop-Up Model” van. You can think of it as part-classroom and part
science lab on wheels! I was proud to help announce the grant at a local
volunteer event, hosted by RAFT. The activity brought together more than 100
volunteers to assemble STEAM project kits for Bay Area students. Take a look at
what we accomplished together in just one day!

What We Built in the STEAM Kits

Rows upon rows of volunteers lined up to put together STEAM kits for students. The twist was that these kits, comprised of simple materials that come together to help teach complex concepts, were hockey-themed! One example was the “Car on a Roll” kit which helps K-12 students learn about the concepts of motion, friction, gravity, momentum, and potential vs. kinetic energy; these physics concepts can all be found in a hockey game!  Another kit called the “Glove-a-Phone” is designed to help K-8 learners understand sound, vibration and music — things we hear when the crowd roars for a Sharks goal!

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