FREDERICKSBURG, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Engineering For Kids Foundation, designed to provide S.T.E.M. education and inspire students ages 4-14 by offering hands-on, discipline specific engineering activities, held its first annual gala to raise money for its mentorship program. The three-hour event raised over $10,000, featured guest speaker, former professional football player and NASA astronaut, Leland Melvin, as well as a silent auction, and awards presentation.
Engineering For Kids (EFK), a leading national after-school S.T.E.M. education company, developed the Engineering for Kids foundation in 2014. As part of the foundation, the mentorship program matches talented and inspired high school engineering students and faculty with elementary students who do not have the opportunity to learn about the fascinating field of engineering in their schools.
“Our goal is to inspire and excite our youth of tomorrow to assist them on their path to becoming engineers, and it is events like these that help us achieve this mission,” said Dori Roberts, president and CEO of Engineering For Kids. “This year we recognized our top supporters with a formal awards presentation for those making a difference in their communities.”
S.T.E.M. Teacher of the Year
Lake Ridge, Va. Antietam Elementary School teacher Kathy Lamont was recognized for her important role in influencing children’s minds through increased interest in S.T.E.M. education. She has been a dedicated contributor to Camp Invention at Antietam, a summer program that uses the hands-on application of S.T.E.M. to instill creative problem solving and teamwork techniques in children. Ms. Lamont was awarded $500 to be used towards S.T.E.M. supplies in her classroom.
S.T.E.M. School of the Year
Elementary School in Prince William County, Va. was recognized for its outstanding efforts in providing S.T.E.M. education programs. Principal Suzanne Bevans accepted the award on behalf of the school, which was designated a Focus School for Children’s Engineering, integrating S.T.E.M. in 2013. The Foundation awarded Henderson Elementary with two, six-week long Engineering For Kids Foundation Mentorship Programs, valued at $4,000.
Mentor of the Year
Riverbend, Va. High School Senior Rebecca Argueta was recognized as a top mentor. Foundation mentors must be high school juniors and seniors that are highly motivated and respected in their community for their leadership qualities. Rebecca plans to graduate at the end of this year with high honors and pursue a career in mechanical engineering.
Community Supporter Award
Congressman Rob Wittman was given the Community Supporter Award for his support of improving the education system and providing adequate resources to schools and teachers. His continued support of EFK and commitment to ensuring access to quality education has helped provide EFK children with every opportunity to succeed.
Funder of the Year
Kids Connect Network was recognized for its support and mentorship, which was instrumental in getting the Engineering For Kids Mentorship Program up and running. Kids Connect Network empowers at-risk youth through supporting a cohesive network of mentoring programs and organizations, one of which is the Engineering For Kids Mentorship Program.
Engineering for Kids Foundation Scholarship Winner
North Stafford High School student Aaron Taylor was awarded the Engineering For Kids Foundation Scholarship, a $500 scholarship that goes to a high school student who has gone through an EFK program and wants to go further with engineering. Aaron plans to study Computer Science and pursue a career as a software developer or a private technology company.
The Engineering for Kids Foundation was joined by representatives from sponsors FranchiseWell, Kids Connect Network, Charles B. Roberts and Associates, Sunshine Ballpark, LeaseWeb, Monroe Bay Builders, Stafford County Economic Development, and Wells Fargo for the event.
About Engineering For Kids
Engineering for Kids is a Virginia-based franchise offering over 300 lessons in 19 different curricular enrichment classes ranging from Aerospace, Chemical, Civil and Industrial Engineering. The lessons are aimed to help children develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills in a fun and challenging way through hands-on learning. Students can participate in after school programs, evening classes, in-school field trips, birthday parties, home-school programs and more. Founded in 2009 by Dori Roberts, the brand has grown to operate more than 140 franchises in 19 countries, with plans to open 25 new franchises each year. For more information, visit www.engineeringforkids.com.
If you are interested in supporting the foundation or finding out more information, visit their website at www.efkfoundation.org.