In 2013 UMBC and Lakeland Elementary Middle School embarked on a partnership to learn what resources meaningfully support the school’s mission to provide a high-quality education, inside and outside of the classroom. Among our findings was that quality enrichment and co-curricular programming that 1) exposes students to possibilities and 2) illuminates the link between education and those possibilities are meaningful to a student’s overall academic persistence and performance. We also fully aligned with the school’s Community School work and engaged with the larger community.
The Lakeland STEAM and Community Center, funded by Northrop Grumman, is an outgrowth of this partnership. We are in the fourth year of this initiative, and we work collaboratively with the school and the Lakeland Recreation Center. Our combined vision is to provide students and the community with a 21st century STEAM center. Through this STEAM center we can both improve upon the educational enrichment that is already taking place and exponentially increase it by offering more after-school and summer programs, creating facilities for teachers to use during the school day to strengthen core academics, and providing services to the adults living in Lakeland. Through this STEAM center, we will provide the physical space and educational opportunities for Lakeland’s children and adults to learn, grow, explore, and achieve.
In the first three years we completed significant renovations to the Lakeland Recreation Center to transform it into the Lakeland STEAM and Community Center, offered programming for students, organized special events for families and/or community members, and supported Lakeland’s neighborhood association. In these next three years we will expand our outreach to communities beyond Lakeland, increase programming for adult community members, and work with teachers on how to incorporate the resources of the STEAM Center into their instruction. Equally important in these coming years is capacity building, so the center can live beyond the investment from Northrop Grumman.
In 2013 UMBC and Lakeland Elementary Middle School embarked on a partnership to learn what resources meaningfully support the school’s mission to provide a high-quality education, inside and outside of the classroom. Among our findings…