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Three-year, $2.7 million grant will support unique needs of children of active military personnel

CHICAGO and EDWARDSVILLE, IL, October 14, 2020 – iBIO EDUCATE, dedicated to inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education, and Goshen Education Consulting, a prominent STEM educational evaluation and research center, today announced that they have received a $2.7million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to design and implement novel educational experiences for up to 3,750 children in military families. Starting in 2021 and continuing for three years, the grant will enable summer camps that will be known as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Kids ofActive Military Personnel (STEMKAMP).

As the largest employer of scientists and engineers in the world, the Defense Department recognizes the importance of inspiring students to become STEM professionals. iBIO and Goshen Education Consulting have created the new program for third to eighth graders based on published research data showing that students who express an early interest (by eighth grade) in pursuing a STEM career are two to three times more likely to graduate with a STEM college degree.*

“Over the next decade, it is projected that 80% of jobs will require STEM skills, which makes programs like STEMKAMP all the more important,” said Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12). “I was proud to support iBIO and Goshen Education’s grant application earlier this year, and I am thrilled that they have received this funding.” Former marine Bost wrote a letter of support for the grant application. His district in southern Illinois includes Scott Air Force Base and Mascoutah school district, one of the districts that will be served through the program.

STEMKAMP will partner with 10 military-connected school districts across the United States to implement the five-day summer camps, helping young students connect critical thinking and problem-solving skills to a wide variety of STEM careers through hands-on experiences with STEM concepts and access to STEM professionals. As a result, students will develop basic laboratory skills, practice higher-order thinking skills, and gain the self-confidence and motivation to consider continuing on a path toward a STEM career.

Children of military service personnel often experience stress related to the many unknowns involved in their parents’ occupations. This includes changing school districts often, which can make it difficult to adjust to new schools with differing curriculum, instructional methods, cultural norms and climate. STEMKAMP will fill a large need by providing access to local STEM summer camps designed specifically for children in military families.

STEMKAMP is modeled after iBIO’s highly successful, nationally recognized, hands-on STEMgirls camps and, due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, its 2020 virtual STEMfamily camp. Made possible by strong financial support from Illinois life sciences companies – Abbott, Astellas, Horizon and Lundbeck – the iBIO camps have served more than 560 third to eighth grade girls during the summers of 2016 – 2019. More than 500 kids from 27 states participated in the June 2020 virtual STEMfamily camp.

“To receive this grant, we needed to demonstrate that STEMKAMP will be sustained at each site beyond the initial three-year program,” explained iBIO Senior Vice President Ann Vogel. “We are thrilled to build on the success of our programs and bring these STEM camps to military families. We look forward to creating and coordinating a network composed of local school districts, their respective state’s BIO affiliates and other local community partners to build a strong STEM talent pipeline.”

The Department of Defense also asked iBIO and Goshen to explain how they would modify their implementation plan if COVID-19 or another pandemic required a distance-learning approach. iBIO’s 2020 STEMfamily Camp’s successes convinced the grant reviewers that STEMKAMP could adapt, if needed. Pre- and post-camp survey showed positive changes in the camps’ participants and an increased desire to pursue a STEM career.

“As the formal evaluator of the camps since their inception, my company has validated quantifiable metrics that demonstrate meaningful results by the young students,” said Matt Feldmann, Ph.D., principal researcher and owner, Goshen Education Consulting. “And as the father of two daughters who have flourished in the STEMgirls and STEMfamily camps, I saw the positive impact on my children and in my family. It is a privilege to be able to bring STEMKAMP to children in military families nationwide. I am confident  that they will benefit greatly through the hands-on approach to learning.”

Click here to see how iBIO’s 2020 STEMfamily Camp made a difference in the lives of Illinois families.

About iBIO
The Illinois Biotechnology Innovation Organization (iBIO) is a life sciences industry association that represents the nearly 88,000 life sciences employees at member companies, universities, service providers and venture firms. iBIO promotes the industry’s value to the public and policymakers; connects innovators to investment and talent; stimulates collaboration and fosters the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs to transform patient lives through groundbreaking research and works to grow the Illinois economy.

iBIO EDUCATE delivers industry-led STEM programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. To learn more about iBIO and its programs, visit www.ibio.org

About Goshen Education Consulting
Goshen Education Consulting is a STEM educational evaluation and research center located in Edwardsville, IL. Since its founding in 2009, Goshen Education Consulting has conducted more than 60 educational evaluation and research projects. Goshen Education Consulting Inc. specializes in educational data interpretation (evaluation, research and analysis) for educational organizations in Illinois. Beyond program implementation, consulting services range from external program evaluation and ad hoc report writing to dashboard development and at-risk student identification.

Media Contacts

Monique Naleway
Operations Manager
iBIO
(312) 561-3895
mnaleway@ibio.org

Matt Feldmann, Ph.D.
Principal Researcher and Owner
Goshen Education Consulting, Inc.
(618) 751-2807
matt@gosheneducationconsulting.com

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