Woz U Education and Steven Hunter Team Up to Provide Maywood School District 89 with STEAM Kits

Former NBA player returns to his hometown to launch technology-based after-school program


CHICAGO and SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Aug. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Woz U Education, a personalized approach to instill a tech-based mindset in schoolchildren, and former NBA player and current Community Ambassador for the Phoenix Suns, Steven Hunter, announced today the support of up to five-million dollars to implement a technology-based education program at K-12 schools in Chicago’s metropolitan and surrounding areas. The Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89 is the first school district to launch the initiative. The Steven Hunter Youth Foundation is leading the commitment to provide STEAM kits, an integrated approach to teaching Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, to students participating in the K-8 after-school program.

Hunter is a graduate of Garfield Elementary School, one of the nine schools in District 89 to receive the STEAM kits. The collaboration empowers students to acquire coding and software development skills. The STEAM kits deepen the classroom experience for students to think computationally as they are introduced to coding lessons at the elementary and middle school levels. The launch of the program will be unveiled as part of the District 89 Education Foundation Fundraiser on September 19, 2018, at Stevenson Middle School in Melrose Park, IL, from 6-8:30 p.m.

“We are proud to provide District 89 students with the resources to learn and develop proficiency in coding as early in the learning process as possible,” says Karen Young, CEO, Woz U Education. “The technology economy is growing rapidly and is ever-evolving. The program will equip students with hands-on projects to gain the skills necessary to begin a technology career post-high school.”

The partnership challenges students in the schools to advance their growth in the tech field during their education. The STEAM kits begin teaching students basic coding concepts through hands-on activities, and progress to more advanced block-based and text-based code. The evolution of coding lessons starting in kindergarten guide students to comprehend computer skills as a career path to the technology industry.

“I’m committed to the community I grew up in and assisting the students with the resources to develop an engineering mindset via the STEAM program,” stated Hunter. “We will be able to ignite economic development in the Maywood area by providing a platform that will inspire the children and immerse them in the tech community at an early age. It’s rewarding to provide third-graders with the opportunity to build their first drone!”

The initiative between Woz U Education, The Steven Hunter Youth Foundation and District 89 Education Foundation will provide webinar-based training sessions to demonstrate the lessons students will discover using the new STEAM kits, which include:

  • Code Your World Kits
    Students in kindergarten to second grade will be exposed to some of the elements a computer programmer considers when coding a simple animation or game. The schoolchildren will learn basic coding terms such as algorithm, conditional statements, loops, and events.
  • Coding with Color Kits
    Third to fifth grade students will learn about various programming languages with Ozobot’s coding robot. By using the kit, students will become the programmer and learn the Ozobot’s color language. Students will create color codes to make an Ozobot dance and model scientific concepts. The students will engineer and execute Ozobot-led rescue plans in their final module.

  • Communication, Coding, and Ollie Kits
    For students in sixth to eighth grade, this kit includes Ollie, the future of app-enabled driving, for schoolchildren to learn to code Ollie through drawing, block, and text coding. In addition to gaining coding and communication abilities, students will expand their knowledge of geometry and physics concepts with these resources.

“We are grateful to have Steven continue his support to the students in Maywood with his generous gift," said Dianne Williams, president, District 89 Board of Education. “The STEAM kits will enable our students to develop valuable technology proficiency through their experience in our school system. Educating our students in the tech category is crucial to guiding them on a successful career path without the burden of student loans.”

The District 89 Education Foundation Fundraiser will be held at Stevenson Middle School, 1630 North 20th Avenue, Melrose Park, IL.

To register to attend the District 89 Education Foundation Fundraiser, visit here.

For more information about Woz U Education, visit www.wozueducation.com

To learn more about the District 89 schools participating in the program, visit www.maywood89.org.

About Woz U Education
Woz U Education is a personalized approach to instill a tech-based mindset in schoolchildren. The STEAM modules cultivated by Woz U Education are designed to be instrumental in the development of students towards an architecture, engineering or technology-based career. Woz U Education learners dream, design, engineer, test, improve, and create through coding, robotics, drones, 3-D printing, and electronics. Learn more at www.wozueducation.com

Media Contacts:
TallGrass Public Relations for Woz U Education
Richard Krueger

District 89 Education Foundation
Lorenzo Webber