Virtual STEM Programs
Why is STEM Education So Important? STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and empowers the next generation of innovators and inventors. STEM professionals have access to higher income, which means better-paying jobs. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics employees play an essential role in the sustained stability of the economy.
Science and technology surround us. Everywhere we look, we can find STEM in every aspect of our lives. Engineering is in the designs of roads and bridges, but it needs to address today’s global weather challenges. Mathematics is in every profession and in every activity we do. STEM gives students opportunities to explore STEM-related skills, which will allow students to develop interest and passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEM field.
Edu-Futuro has a STEM-based curriculum with real-life situations to help the student learn quickly and efficiently. Our program sets the scenario for minds-on and hands-on lessons for the students starting in upper elementary and all the way into junior year.
This is the 21st century, and it is no secret that scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. “To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past” as stated by the National Science Foundation.
Our STEM program engages students through a variety of subject areas such as Biology, Coding, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Technology, and so much more. Workshops range in difficulty and students from 4th-11th grades are invited to join during the fall, the spring, and the summer!
We offer 12 virtual workshops over a 6 week period. Workshops include “Coding a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich”, “Video Gaming, by Me”, and “Designing your own 3D Soda Can”. In addition, the STEM program has several competitions based on these workshops where students work with their Crews and Mentors to complete and pitch a designer product to put their new skills into practice and win prizes. Students have the opportunity to interact with their peers in small teams as well as with a STEM mentor. This enables students to create new friendships in their areas of interest as well as career-related connections.
STEM students will have the opportunity to learn and practice SeeSaw, an online learning tool, which many students are already using in school.
As one of our STEM professional guest speakers stated, “The most important thing you can do for a child interested in STEM is to support them, I cannot emphasize that enough.”
Where can I find the zoom link?
The zoom links are the same for each session. You should receive an email with the Zoom link that will be used for the sessions. Be sure to favorite this email, so it will be easy to find. Once you join the program you will be added to a WhatsApp group. The Zoom link will be sent through the WhatsApp group for parents. If you still cannot find the link please reach out to your facilitator, and they will provide it for you.
How many workshops does my student have to attend to complete the program?
Your student is encouraged to attend all workshops, but in case they happen to miss one, we have make-up workshops as well to ensure your student can graduate from the program.
What should my student do if we don’t have a reliable internet source or computer to enter the workshops?
The student may use an iPad or a computer for the workshops but a computer is recommended based on the activities they’ll be doing. Please let your facilitators know about your specific situation and they will be able to help you further.
What will I get out of the program?
In this program, your students will be working with STEM Professionals who will guide them and can give them insight into their future careers in the STEM field. Students will learn/work on their coding skills, online 3D building, engineering, and much more. In addition, the program is a competition based and by participating students can be eligible to win prizes and scholarships! Upon graduating, students will receive a STEM certificate.
What materials will the students need?
Most of the activities will be virtual and if materials are needed your facilitator should be able to provide you with them or a list of the items needed. It is recommended though for your student to bring a piece of paper and writing utensil for them to draw out their ideas. The program is at no cost to you.
Can the student participate in the program multiple times?
Yes, we welcome the students to participate in the program again! Each session, the program curriculum allows students to learn new things.
What are some extra activities or websites my student can use to learn more about STEM?
There are a variety of websites and activities you can find online. Here are just a few recommendations:
What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It combines these four subject areas to encourage critical thinking and creativity in problem-solving. STEM is used in everyday life to create innovation and change in our society.
My student has never done STEM before, will this program be too hard for them?
Students from all experience levels are welcomed! At the beginning of every workshop we give an overview of the STEM topic before getting into the activity, so students can learn along the way as well.
Why is it important to study STEM?
Studying STEM is important because it fosters creativity, ingenuity, and problem-solving skills. In most of the STEM disciplines, you must collaborate with others to solve real-world problems. Students who study STEM have many career paths to choose from including becoming an engineer, working in healthcare, software design, and so much more!
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The Robotics Club engages middle school Latino and immigrant youth in hands-on STEM enrichment, teaching middle school students to design, construct, and program robots to fuel their interests in STEM professions. In the longer-term, the Robotics Club is the first stage of an innovative “pipeline” approach to supporting students’ college & career readiness. The high-tech nature of the program attracts students during the middles school years, which research shows is a critical time to develop and retain STEM confidence.
Our STEM-focused ELP Robotics Club is offered for free to youth in grades 6-8, and after the first year in the program, students can choose to return for a second year to participate in local and regional robotics competitions and work on developing more advanced skills. The curricula used by this program have been vetted by the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy and align with Common Core standards.
Students in year one meet twice weekly for 1.5 hours per session during the fall semester to work through the LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 curriculum. In the Spring, students meet only once per week, and work on developing more advanced skills to prepare for our in-house competition at the end of the school year.
Students in year two use the fall semester to hone their skills and prepare for local and regional FIRST Lego League competitions in small teams of four to six, coached by a staff member or volunteer, to develop creative solutions to real-world problems. Previous challenges have included topics like re-imagining infrastructure projects to withstand natural disasters or designing robots to help people with physical disabilities perform everyday tasks. These competitions encourage students to blend technical skills with creative problem-solving, connecting classroom lessons with tangible, real life applications. In the Spring, students work in teams of two to practice engineering and coding skills using VEX IQ robots and curriculum.
This program was suspended since March 2020, due to the Covid-19 disruption (Edu-Futuro offered a virtual STEM Program instead.) Now, we're going back to in-person.
What is Social Emotional Learning?
It is through Social Emotional Learning that we come in contact with who we are, what we are feeling, what to call those feelings we are experiencing, where to put them, and how to respond to them. It also helps us set and achieve goals, feel and exhibit empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and finally make responsible decisions. Social and emotional learning provides a foundation for safe and positive learning, and enhances students' ability to succeed in school, careers, and life.
Edu-Futuro’s Pre-ELP Social Emotional Learning Program, provides significant experiences for the first two components of SEL: Self-awareness and self-management in a four-week virtual setting where students meet twice a week for a total of three hours with facilitators and mentors. Our four-week SEL Program was launched in the spring and offered students from 5th-8th grades eight (8) virtual workshops. These workshops were designed to empower students' self-awareness and self-management, mindsets and belief systems, talents and skills, as well as goal management. A virtual graduation ceremony for students and parents concluded the program.
The SEL Virtual Program's hands-on learning approach led by our Mentors keeps students engaged and motivated to learn. Throughout the four weeks, students earn badges for demonstrating indicators of success, and each session concludes with a challenge of the week that enables students to apply SEL in real-life situations. In addition, a program materials packet is mailed to each student and their parents. These materials offer an interactive learning opportunity with other students that build on their SEL achievements.
Self-awareness in our program means understanding one's own emotions, personal goals, and values, which includes acknowledging our strengths and limitations, developing positive mindsets, and possessing a well-grounded sense of trust, a sense of support, and comfort around others as well as empathy. High levels of self-awareness demand the ability to recognize how thoughts, feelings, and actions are intertwined. Self-management, on the other hand, requires skills and attitudes that allow us to regulate our emotions and the behaviors that come with our feelings. This includes the ability to delay gratification, manage stress, control impulses, and stay engaged through our own personal journey in life in order to achieve personal and educational goals.
Why is Social-Emotional Learning So Important?
In brief, Social Emotional Learning is the process through which we can have a better understanding of our emotions and how to administer them.
Pre-ELP SEL curriculum teaches youth and their parents/guardians some strategies to display emotional intelligence and administer their actions in a healthy way. SEL are life-long skills that empower us to grow and be nurtured by support systems, creating balance in all areas of life. SEL participants perform better in school, their workplace, their homes, and communities.
Having the tools and the language to identify, express, and manage emotions is beneficial for people of all ages and life stages. Young people who participate in our SEL program set themselves up to achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
From our staff at Edu-Futuro, we are so excited to meet you and learn and grow with you!
How long is each workshop?
The Pre-ELP program will meet twice a week for 1 hour 15 minutes each time.
What materials will students need for the workshops?
Students will not need to provide any of their own materials. Before the start of the session, students will be sent a packet with all of the materials they will need for the program.
What does SEL stand for? Why is it important?
Social-Emotional Learning; SEL skills are life-long skills that empower students to grow into a better understanding of their emotions and how to build a support system. This is the basis of leadership and the foundation for them to better prepare themselves for ELP I.
What happens if my student has to miss a class?
Each class will build on each other, so it is best if your student can attend every class. If, for some reason, your student must miss a class you can contact the program facilitator to accommodate for your student’s success and graduation.
Does my student need to take Pre-ELP to participate in ELP I or STEM?
To participate in ELP I or STEM, they don't need to graduate from Pre-ELP first. They can take part in our STEM programs before or after Pre-ELP.
Where does this program take place?
The Pre-ELP Program is fully virtual. Parents will be sent the Zoom link for each workshop via WhatsApp or email, depending on preference.
What age is best for my student to take Pre-ELP?
No matter if your student is in 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, the Pre-ELP Program will be beneficial. Because the program focuses on mindsets and goal setting, starting the program early on may make it easier for students to grasp and engage with the skills. However, if your student is older, they are still going to be able to grow in and embrace SEL skills in their life.
How can I best support my student as they take the SEL program?
There are many ways to support your student. There will be a parent kickoff that will dive more deeply into what the Pre-ELP program is and how to support your student in it. Students will learn ways to have a growth mindset and to manage their emotions. As a parent, you can encourage them in their discovery and practicing of different responses. Most importantly, if you want to know more about how to support your student, you can reach out to the Program Coordinator or Program Facilitator.
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Emerging Leaders Program Part I (ELP I)
Developing Leadership Skills Like a Pro!
Here at Edu-Futuro, we believe the students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. In this first track of the three-part Emerging Leaders Program (ELP), we provide students in grades 9-11 with a toolkit of integrative, interdisciplinary, and transferable skills and strategies to support them in their path towards becoming leaders of their own futures.
ELP I centers around the individual needs of each student. From the onset of the program, students brainstorm and design a unique roadmap for their professional and personal goals in the Vision for Life workshop. Additionally, students will see the college-to-job pipeline connection in our Journey to the Future workshop, where they will explore how their college plans connect with potential careers. Beyond professional development, students will also be able to identify community issues personally important to them and understand their potential role as changemakers in the Civic Engagement workshop. These, among several other workshops, will put students on track towards being well-rounded citizen-scholars of the world.
The most important knowledge students will receive will not be from the workshops themselves, but from the people in them. For the duration of the program, students will be assigned a mentor that will support students in their goals and facilitate small group discussions of 4-6 students in each workshop. Through this collaboration, students will not only be able to interact and exchange ideas with their ELP I peers, but they will interact with mentors who have significant careers, college, and life experience behind them.
For the virtual sessions, the traditionally eight-week-long program is condensed into four weeks, with action-based workshops held twice a week. Each workshop was carefully designed to encourage both social-emotional learning (ex: interpersonal communication) and leadership skills (ex: Public Speaking.) The order of the workshops is intentional and will build on the skills learned in the previous workshop (ex: our resume and professional skills workshop directly precedes our career exploration workshop) to give students a logical, cumulative structure they will retain long after they graduate from the program.
Although students will learn about higher education and attend college tours during their time in ELP I, it is much more than a college-preparedness program; it is a journey towards self-discovery. We encourage you to apply, and let us be a part of your personal journey!
Are there any scholarship opportunities?
There are prizes for participation in workshops. There is also a speech and essay competition scholarship. We offer 8 scholarships each session. Each student can enter the scholarship competition and win $500 towards college education.
Is this program really free?
Yes. It is 100 percent free. However, we greatly depend on student surveys and attendance for program success, since this is where our funding comes from to make our programs free.
How do I attend the ELP I workshops?
Due to the pandemic, all workshops are delivered over zoom. ELP I students will receive zoom links via email or text from one of our ELP I mentors. Parents will be provided with the link by email, text, and a WhatsApp group chat as well.
Am I eligible for the program?
All high school students from 9-11 grades are eligible to apply to the program. The only requirement is to attend!
What are the time commitments?
Please see the published flyers. Attendance is fundamental to graduate.
What are ELP I and Edu-Futuro?
ELP stands for “Emerging Leaders Program”. This is one of the many programs offered by Edu-Futuro, an educational non-profit that is based in northern Virginia. The purpose of ELP is to cultivate students into leaders and to advocate for their future.
Why should I be part of the program?
The program will provide interactive workshops and mentoring that will allow students to improve their leadership, professional, and public speaking skills. In addition, the program will provide guidance on how to build a resume and conduct an interview. In other words, students will be better prepared for life after high school.
How do I apply for the program?
You can sign up by clicking on the ELP 1 green button above, which will lead you to a Google form to fill out.
Is there homework?
No. Just bring your positive attitude and be ready to participate.
While there is no homework, there are opportunities to use what you learn by applying for Edu-Futuro scholarships!
Emerging Leaders Program Part II (ELP II)
Rising high school seniors who complete ELP I are eligible for ELP II, a free year-long program supporting seniors during their college application process through weekly one-on-one coaching and mentoring services. Mentors provide feedback on college essays, ensure youth meet submission requirements, and help students apply for financial assistance. From September through January, students receive support with college applications and, from February through June, students receive support with financial aid and scholarship applications.
As part of this program, students are also required to engage in their community in Northern Virginia. Edu-Futuro delivers a civic engagement curriculum for the ELP II students, with the goal of teaching students about advocacy and service. Furthermore, in order to graduate from this program, students must complete at least 8 hours of community service.
During the ELP II Mentorship Program, Edu-Futuro offers monthly workshops focused on the students’ preparation for college life. This series of workshops intend to reduce the anxiety about the transition from high school to college, make sure students know about the resources that are available to them in college, and provide practical skills that can be helpful for their personal and academic development.
When does the program start?
The program starts as soon as senior year starts in the fall.
When can students sign up?
Students can sign up when they finish junior year and have completed ELP I.
What is the difference between ELP I & ELP II?
ELP I is primarily for 9-11 graders and focuses on general leadership skill development with larger group meetings whereas ELP II is only for seniors and specializes in college and career preparedness with one-on-one mentorship.
How do students apply?
Students apply by filling out the form available on our website or directly on our Linktree: https://linktr.ee/EduFuturo_YouthPrograms
Are there any requirements?
Students have to submit a short essay, a long essay, an unofficial school transcript, a letter of recommendation, and their resume.
Is it a free program?
Yes! It’s completely free of charge at Edu-Futuro. (The average mentor costs $36,000 per year!)
How long is the program?
It’s a one-year mentorship program from October to May. Applications open each summer.
Why do students need a mentor?
College can be overwhelming for high school seniors! Mentors provide guidance and support for student’s college and scholarship searches and in order to facilitate the process.
What grade level is this program for?
ELP II is only for rising seniors who completed ELP I.
Emerging Leaders Program Part III (ELP III)
Edu-Futuro has partnered with UnidosUS to provide a high-quality program to our youth group in college.
UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has brought communities and different groups together to make our communities stronger along with nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico.
This collaboration will allow Edu-Futuro to provide ELP III to support students during their transitional first year in college. Students are matched with Young Professional Mentors who understand the college experience and are experienced in the transition into the professional world. Through individual Mentorship, One-on-One check-ins, and college-focused, skill-building workshops, students have the opportunity to develop their professional skills and learn effective strategies to succeed academically and professionally during their time in College.
Mentors provide advice on internships and networking, career planning, and school resources, in addition to time management and study advice. Mentees meet consistently throughout the year with Mentors to develop skills and connect with important resources. Mentees also participate in keystone workshops focused on College Success.
ELP III is the next step in the Emerging Leaders Program Pipeline supporting students along their journey to higher education. The transition to college brings unexpected challenges and incredible opportunities; this program is designed to support and empower students in the next step of their academic journey, so that they have the guidance and tools to succeed in their undergraduate studies and pursue professional careers.
How do I become eligible to apply for ELP III and what are the requirements?
To become eligible for ELP III, students must complete the application and currently be enrolled at an accredited College or University.
How does ELP III differ from ELP II?
ELP III is designed for students enrolled at college/university and is based around supporting students during their college transition, whereas ELP II provides mentorship to high school seniors ONLY. ELP II and III both offer a 1:1 mentorship and monthly workshops.
What is the time commitment for ELP III?
ELP III is a 2 semester Program. Students are expected to participate in 1:1 (virtual) meetings once per month with their Mentor. Students are also expected to attend monthly (virtual) workshops to build their skills and guide their professional development.
What will I get out of ELP III?
Students can expect to gain personal mentorship which provides advice on internships, career planning, school resources, time management, and study advice. They can also expect to have the peer support of other students in the program and the resources provided by Edu-Futuro for professional development.
Can I partake in ELP III if I go to community college?
Yes! Currently, ELP III is open to all students regardless of which type of school they attend. If the student is thinking about transferring to a university, mentors will be able to provide help around this topic and help in the strategic plan for a successful transition.
I’m not a freshman, can I still apply for ELP III?
ELP III is open to freshman students starting their first year of college.
Does this program cost anything?
ELP III is free to all students, just like the other youth programs Edu-Futuro offers.
When do applications open for ELP III again?
Applications will always be available on our Linktree or our website. Students can apply at the beginning of the summer.
Upcoming Program: READing Program
Why Choose Edu-Futuro’s READing Club?
At Edu-Futuro, we understand that reading is the pinnacle of school success. We have created a unique 9 week program where students between 5th & 8th grades can read along with other peers and Reading Coaches each week. Students will take 9 weeks of workshops, they will develop 9 different skills, and will take home 9 presents when they graduate.
Whether a child's a bookworm or a struggling reader, reading with others in our new READing Virtual Club each week is much more fun than reading solo. Plus, if READing is a skill, it can be learned.
Edu-Futuro’s READing Club’s mission is to advance children’s reading and build on literacy to help young students improve their grades in all academic areas at school. Our READing Club is the one place where students develop a love for reading with others in very small teams, get the support they need, and have a trusted READing Coach to assist them with their progress as part of a professionally-developed ongoing Learning Enrichment Program.
Edu-Futuro’s READing Club for young students in upper elementary and middle school offers the possibility of academic growth as well as a very important component of teaching students how to self-assess their progress mid-program, which in turn, allows them to gain confidence and become independent thinkers as they become readers that are aware of their own process.
READing, The Most Precious Gift (Actually, Skill, The Most Precious Skill)
The pleasure of reading is directly connected to understanding what you read. No matter what the type of text/stories/books we like to read, true joy comes from being able to make connections to real-life situations and the world that surrounds us. Readers relate to characters or situations when they are able to react to texts by asking powerful questions, and when they can read between the lines. Readers can expand their imaginations and cross frontiers if they feel confident when presented with a new text. However, when reading becomes an impossible task, it stops being a stepping stone to succeed in life; it quickly becomes a weakness and a means of feeling at a loss. It’s a simple formula: If a child reads better, they will understand better, and they will respond better in all subject areas.
What Are Some More Benefits of Reading With Others?
- Supercharge a child's learning process through reading with others is the key to a child's active listening skills.
- Studies have shown that reading with others accelerates a child's social development and, as a consequence, it increases their social understanding.
- Reading with others allows for the experience of exchanging ideas.
- It promotes more logical thinking and heightens concentration.
- It acclimates a child to new experiences and shows them through hands-on experience that reading is fun.
- When reading with others, children develop better communication and language skills.
- Reading with others is an amazing way for kids and Reading Coaches to bond with them and deepen their relationship by sharing wonderful texts each week.
- Reading with others allows language learners to gain extra skills, vocabulary, and confidence because this program is specifically tailored for this purpose.
What if a child who struggles in school just needs to learn better and understand better? What if that child only needs to learn to read to establish connections or draw information from the text? What if reading better can make that child stronger in every subject area? Wouldn’t that be a beautiful gift?
Who is this program for?
It is a program for students between 5th & 8th grades who want to develop their reading.
How long is the program?
The program is 9 weeks long. Students will meet peers and READing Coaches each week to read for fun and a second time to work on a specific skill in smaller groups.
Why is this program special?
The READing Club’s mission is to advance students' reading and build on literacy to help students improve their grades in all academic areas at school. Students will develop a love for reading with others in very small teams, get the support they need and have a trusted READing Coach to assist them with their progress as part of a professionally-developed ongoing Learning Enrichment Program.
Is this program free?
Do students need to buy books?
No. Students will read short texts that will be provided to them.
Can students participate even if they do not have good grades?
Absolutely! We encourage students to join the program and learn to read with others. Reading with others allows language learners to gain extra skills, vocabulary, and confidence because this program is specifically tailored for this purpose.
What are the requirements to be in the program?
Students need to attend the workshops each week during the 9-week session. During this period of time, students need to participate in the workshops and while there is no homework, students are encouraged to revisit texts on their own, especially if they want to expand vocabulary and deepen their understanding.
Can students repeat the program?
Yes. It is very common that students come back and take our programs again and again because they feel happy when they learn, they are appreciated and success is celebrated often.
What Does an Internship at Edu-Futuro Look Like?
One thing that you will love about doing an internship is that you will be learning through real-world experiences, rather than through a book. The work you will do, the challenges you will encounter, the people you will meet, and the opportunities you will be given will invariably shape the way you perceive yourself, the impact you can cause in the world, and the way you see yourself and your future career.
We strive to provide interns with a positive work environment, necessary training, supervision, and recognition. In return, we expect you to honor your commitments to the organization, respect other staff members and interns, and perform your assigned duties to the best of your abilities.
Benefits of Doing an Internship: As an intern, you will have the opportunity to provide service in line with the organization’s mission. You will have a chance to enhance your personal and professional skills as you gain valuable experience that will help you in the future while you sow seeds of professionalism, teamwork, respectability, and civility in a young person’s life. Doing an internship will give you a sense of purpose, will help in building stronger communities, will develop a much-needed support system for youth, and will teach youth to be connected to trusted voices who care about their success.
*Program Orientation & Training
As an intern, your Placement Supervisor will provide you with an orientation and the necessary training required for your specific intern position.
*Supervision and Support
As an intern, you will have a clearly identified supervisor who will directly oversee your role within the organization. This supervisor will be available to you for consultation and assistance and will also be a point of contact throughout the application and orientation process and to support agency interns throughout their service.
*Record Maintenance & Intern Time
Keeping track of the time given by our interns is very important to us. The intern is required to document hours on an ongoing basis and report them to the Intern Supervisor on a weekly basis. After the intern completes a set of 30 hours, the timesheet will be submitted.
As an intern, you are an essential part of the operations at Edu-Futuro. Therefore, we believe it is very important to recognize the time and effort that interns put into service. Recognition opportunities will occur annually.
We welcome and encourage our students to apply to internship opportunities today!
You Can Be A Part Of Our Team
We are always looking to expand our team of volunteers. We search out dedicated people that want to make an impact in our community and the world.. If you are interested in volunteering, click the Volunteer Now button below.