The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program at Mar Vista Family Center (MVFC) is focused on helping students to find their passions through exposure to the four STEM disciplines. We believe in helping students to understand more about themselves through access to knowledge not necessarily taught at their educational institutions. We seek to instill a core skill-set of logical, analytical, and critical thinking through the exercise of creativity and to convey the idea that STEM is found in the rudiments of virtually everything around us in our lives.
The STEM Program is based on the concept of inquiry-based learning. This approach presents students with a problem and encourages them to work together, ask questions, and experiment in order to find a solution. This builds not only STEM knowledge, but also gives students an understanding of the scientific mindset of hypothesis, experiment, repetition and replication.
The program begins with the Junior Scientists and Engineers for students in Kindergarten through 5th Grade where we foster an interest in STEM through fun hands-on activities that will get them excited and wanting to learn more. The classes follow common themes found in the elementary school curriculum to support students in understanding the material and succeeding in their classes. In middle and high school, students continue their STEM journey as “Mar Vista Gamers” where they focus on coding and web design, and game development. Through these classes, students enhance their skills in technology, math and physics.
What You’ll Get Out of This Program
- Students explore potential careers within STEM, helping many discover what they love to do.
- The experience provides a firm grasp of the role of STEM in innovations relevant to students and their lives.
- The Program bridges STEM curricula and their applications, helping frame what they learn in school vis-a-vis attainable career options.
- The approach encourages students to overcome their fears about succeeding in a STEM field.
- The Program exposes students to ground-up development of a project and to large scale works within STEM.
- The Program favors construction over instruction – with an emphasis on learning through hands-on activities and experimentation versus the lecture-style approach.
- The “fun” atmosphere encourages students to express themselves and unleash their creative energies.
The team environment teaches students the skill of working in collaboration with others.