STEM Saturdays transforms community centers into “Incubators of Excellence” by engaging youth

Dibia DREAM STEM Saturdays are monthly, city-wide, family-oriented, and community-based academic events where students and parents can attend and learn together. By transforming community centers into “Incubators of Excellence,” the goal is to engage and expose youth and their families to STEM-based activities.
In Homestead this Saturday, April 27, 9 am – noon, students will: Learn from medical professionals and build mechanical replicas of a lung. Lunch is included and cost is FREE at Phichol Williams Community Center, 951 SW 4th Street, Homestead, FL 33030. Get programming info, and tune in to this video to learn more.
Engaging youth through STEM as early as preschool is immensely important. Many children lack various skills at an early age which leads to their developmental issues later. Unlike many mainstream after-school programs, their flagship after-school program, DREAM Academy, offers a rigorous blend of athletic, academic, and STEM programming to drive students to academic success, promising careers, and healthy lives. The long-term impact is felt in disadvantaged communities where local students are afforded new opportunities and experiences that positively impact their lives. 
Community centers and parks are typically designed to be a place of congregation as well as a beacon of light to improve urban areas. Across Miami, many community centers are large buildings that go unused during the weekend. Community centers like the Samuel K. Johnson Center, located in Liberty City, can be found in the heart of communities ravished by gun violence. STEM Saturdays is a program to revitalize and bring purpose to severely under-utilized community centers like Samuel K. Johnson. The program bridges the digital divide while providing students a safe place to learn and gather during critical out of school weekend hours. 
Dibia DREAM’s focus is to help change the conversations at home. Too often, the environment at home is not conducive for healthy conversations around various educational topics. When students return home after STEM Saturdays with a handmade mechanical lung, electric car, or windmill, parents and/or guardians become curious about the STEM concept, their child has learned. From there, the students can explain in detail how their project works and how it was engineered. This drives home the message that all youth are innovators, creators, and can DREAM Big!

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