DCA Highlights STEM Initiatives and Projects in Atlantic City for New Jersey STEM Month in March
- Posted on: 03/23/2021
Focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Is Part of Effort to Diversify Local Economy and Strengthen Local Workforce
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) calls attention to several STEM Month activities supported by the Atlantic City cohort of the South Jersey STEM & Innovation Partnership (SJSIP), which is a community of collaborative partners seeking to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education and career pathways for people in southern New Jersey.
The initiatives include creating a STEM team in the Atlantic City school district to develop new classes, programs, and opportunities for students to explore STEM education and careers. Also, the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, South Jersey Industries, the Atlantic City branch of the NAACP, the Atlantic City Housing Authority, and private businesses have been offering specific STEM-related activities for city residents throughout the month.
“Because many of today’s higher-paying, career-oriented jobs require science, tech, engineering, and math expertise, this focus on STEM projects gets us closer to our goal of unlocking the potential of Atlantic City residents and creating a skilled workforce that attracts a wide array of businesses,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “I also appreciate how the arts are being integrated into STEM programs to encourage people to bring imagination and creativity to science and math disciplines.”
The following are some of the STEM Month activities in Atlantic City:
· Coursework at Atlantic City High School to attract students who have an interest in STEM fields. For example, students can learn about how to explore oceans using robotics and how cyber-technology protects people from computer hackers, and other STEM related activities. The classes help students expand their knowledge in a fun hands-on environment, make them aware of the potential for college study, strengthen their worldview, and open pathways for future careers.
· Projects at the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City’s STEAM Lab, including Sphero coding challenges, Apple Swift Playground challenges, Show ‘N’ Code Lego Boost and Mindstorm robot, and STEM Month stories through iMovie.
· Projects at the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City’s Design Lab, including understanding and creating symbols, type and monograms, and creating personal brand identities using Adobe Creative Cloud.
· Virtual panel on women in STEM careers where women professionals at South Jersey Industries discuss their careers in energy and other STEM fields with high school students from the Atlantic City area and answer questions from students. Topics include creative problem solving and making a difference in the world through STEM.
· Contest sponsored by the Atlantic City chapter of the NAACP for high school students to develop a promotional video or logo artwork to promote the Blue Economy, which is the sustainable use of ocean resources to promote economic growth.
· Programs developed by the Atlantic City Housing Authority to introduce different STEAM programs to residents of Stanley Holmes Village and other housing sites operated by the Housing Authority. The programs are for three groups of learners: young students (ages 6 to 11) and their family, older students (ages 12 to 17), and adult learners (ages 18+). The programs are aimed at introducing students to STEAM fields and educating adults on different STEAM career opportunities.
· Virtual tours of the new Ideal Institute of Technology facility in Atlantic City for Atlantic City educators to learn about the institute and how it can support in-classroom and out-of-classroom STEM learning.
· Tours of the Continent 8 Data Center, a multi-national cloud computing company, to discuss how the data center operates, potential careers, and job retraining.
The Atlantic City school district, Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City, South Jersey Industries, Atlantic City chapter of the NAACP, Ideal Institute of Technology, and Continent 8 Data Center are partners of the SJSIP Atlantic City cohort, which is focused on organizing industry, higher education, K-12 schools, philanthropy, businesses, and community groups at the local level toward a common STEM vision.
The Atlantic City Initiatives Project Office (ACIPO) at DCA started the process of having Atlantic City join SJSIP.
“The response to the appeal for participation in NJ STEM Month by members of our collaborative has been great,” said ACIPO Deputy Director India Still, who is leading the STEM collaboration in Atlantic City. “It’s essential to have messaging on the importance of STEM education reinforced by industry, community organizations, after school providers, and parents. With these program participants, we are covering all bases.”
Earlier this month, DCA and ACIPO announced that, as a result of their efforts, the Mark Cuban Foundation selected Atlantic City as a host site in 2021 for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Boot Camp for high school students. The free camp will be held over four half-days on Saturdays beginning October 23rd at South Jersey Industries’ headquarters in Atlantic City for students with an interest in technology.
These STEM initiatives address recommendations in the Atlantic City Transition Report (i.e. Johnson report), which was issued in September 2018, to build a diverse economy based on the principle of shared prosperity and to create pathways to opportunity. The Transition Report was conducted at the direction of Governor Murphy to provide strategic advice for strengthening Atlantic City. The initiative also meets several objectives of the Atlantic City Implementation Plan, which was issued in April 2019 to put into action the recommendations in the Transition Report. These objectives include setting goals for employment training programs for city residents; developing a shared economic vision that will increase job growth factors; providing innovative and new afterschool and summer programming for youth; preparing youth for the future workforce; and targeting challenged populations to build new support systems and programs around their needs.
The Atlantic City Initiatives Projects Office (ACIPO) is a team within DCA that works out of Atlantic City and reports directly to the Office of the DCA Commissioner. It is responsible for developing and executing an implementation plan for critical elements of the Atlantic City Transition Report, which provides the City and State with a roadmap for tackling the city’s longstanding challenges.
The DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including local government management and finance, affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, and disaster recovery and mitigation.
For more information on the Atlantic City Initiatives Projects Office, visit https://www.nj.gov/dca/home/ac/initiativesoffice.html.
For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media: