Silicon Valley Bank Awards STEM Grant

Categories: 2019, Current Newsletter, March, Newsletter

The First Tee of Silicon Valley (TFTSV) received a $2,500 Grant from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) to underwrite our new STEM class initiative. SVB supports their employees’ passion for community giving by offering employees the opportunity to apply for SVB Foundation grants on behalf of nonprofit organizations for which they actively volunteer. SVB also matches an employee’s personal donations to nonprofit organizations of their choice.

Reka Mishra, Director of EPMO Center of Excellence at SVB Financial Group, was drawn to TFTSV’s efforts to develop youth throughout Silicon Valley, transforming their lives and giving them a brighter future. She is proud to be a TFTSV Board Ambassador of a community benefit organization that’s mission impacts the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Reka said, “Being a golfer and advocate for STEM, I was very interested in supporting TFTSV’s innovative platform to offer under-served youth the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally while exposing them to STEM concepts for improved career choices.”

TFTSV launched our STEM class in November 2018 at the Birdie Level (5th & 6th grades) and will continue to expand to all 4 levels offering year-round classes to participants 3rd through 8th grade. Golf has many built in Science and Math applications that make it a perfect and fun way to explore STEM concepts. The curriculum for the classes maps directly to The First Tee Nine Golf Fundamentals to teach developmentally-appropriate STEM concepts. Participants experience hands-on activities that foster learning of practical STEM concepts valuable for golf, life and work. Instructors are teaching participants STEM education in a structured approach for problem solving (or the engineering design process) that follows these basic “IDEA” steps: 1) Identify the problem, 2) Design the solution(s), 3) Execute the solutions(s), 4) Assess the solution(s).

Silicon Valley is a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. However, comparatively few under-served students pursue expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics because they have not had positive exposure. Due to a high demand for these jobs and shortage of a skilled workforce for these disciplines, TFTSV believes it is important to expand our curriculum to provide opportunities and encourage youth engagement in STEM.