Aurora East Educational Foundation

$750,000

Building on the ongoing successes of the Dunham Fund-supported Benavides STEAM Academy, East Aurora School District 131 is developing three new grade-level STEAM academies: Rollins STEAM Academy (kindergarten-2nd grade), Oak Park STEM Academy (3rd grade-5th grade), and Beaupre STEM Academy (3rd grade - 5th grade).

This new project will redesign three existing elementary schools into new grade level centers, creating academies focused on a challenging integration of core content within STEM-based electives. These new academies will also emphasize community involvement through community events, including STEM-a-Palooza, an event for students and their families to participate in hands-on activities, and the Aurora STEM/STEAM Institute, a two-day professional development session for 400 educators in Kane County.

To help facilitate this large and important restructure, Dunham Fund will be providing a total of $750,000 over the next three years to help build these new STEM/STEAM academies. This funding will help provide 1,200 students a new educational environment, iPads loaded with textbooks and STEM software, support the renovation of four classrooms into interactive learning spaces, provide an annual professional development institute for upwards of 400 teachers to learn about STEM education, and support community STEM/STEAM events.

Rollins STEAM Academy, Oak Park STEM Academy and Beaupre STEM Academy will be managed by an interdisciplinary team of local educators, scientists, and community experts who will develop engaging STEM/STEAM curriculum and foster a cutting-edge learning environment for local students.