Local District South Begins Countdown to STEAM Lab Makerspace Launch

LOS ANGELES (March 19, 2019) - Celebrating the expansion of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, otherwise known as STEAM, L.A. Unified’s Local District South recently launched a STEAM Lab.  

The ceremony, held at Phineas Banning High School, acknowledged the District’s relationship with the Andeavor Foundation, which has awarded local elementary schools $175,000 in grant monies. The Foundation also contributed $200,000 to Local District South’s secondary schools. 

"My thanks to the Andeavor Foundation for their considerable investments in the Wilmington community," said Board Member Dr. Richard Vladovic. "The learning opportunities provided by STEM/STEAM activities can help to nurture a seed that will develop the next generation of engineers and scientists -- perhaps maybe one of the students attending the event will help build the first rocket to send humans to Mars, or be one of the lucky few to make the trip themselves."

“Establishing this learning continuum gives our students a unique opportunity to gain the knowledge and practice the skills they will need as they advance to college and the workplace,” said Interim Superintendent Vivian Ekchian.

Schools to receive the grant include 232nd Place and Annalee Avenue elementary schools; and George De La Torre, Jr., Gulf Avenue and Hawaiian Avenue STEAM magnets. The magnet schools will use their grants to create STEAM Makerspace labs, using materials and resources provided by The Two-Bit Circus Foundation.

Two-Bit Circus will provide work space for teacher teams to collaborate, design, and implement project-based, interdisciplinary experiences that promote problem-solving and inspire creativity by using hands-on, integrative experiences to master STEAM concepts.     

The STEAM Lab Makerspace launch underscores a comprehensive effort on Local District South’s part to provide its students with multiple pathways to a quality STEAM education. The initial effort to help launch Makerspace in District schools came through the Division of Instruction: https://achieve.lausd.net/Page/10898#spn-content.

“By providing our students with access to a rigorous A-G curriculum that focuses on STEAM-based learning experiences, we are preparing them not only for college, but also for careers in the growing STEAM-powered global economy,” said Banning High School Principal Rudy Mendoza.

“With this launch, Local District South students in the Carson and Wilmington community gain continual access to STEAM labs and Makerspace activities from elementary school through high school — giving them a myriad of opportunities to exercise their creativity and problem-solving skills,” said Local District South Superintendent Christopher Downing.

The new elementary labs will join STEAM labs already in place at Curtiss, White and Wilmington middle schools, as well as Banning, Carson and San Pedro high schools.

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Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766