Our mission: A FUTURE OF LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES Our thoughts are shaped over time. People, systems, social constructs, norms, biases, and life experience (to name a few) shape them. Any single person you encounter on any given day has spent their entire lifetime collecting data and it is this data that informs their thoughts. The work we are doing at In4All is meant to challenge the data youth are collecting daily that tells them they don’t belong, or they can’t succeed, or that school doesn’t matter. We are linking arms – industry and education – to say we believe the responsibility for student success is shared. Each activity or project our business volunteers take to the classroom and each work experience our students participate in is meant to increase student engagement and inform their future. A future we believe is limitless. Our Programs: In4All programs bring educators and business professionals together to create learning experiences that impact students at critical times in their K-12 education. All of our programs are informed by research, tied to educational standards, and measured through formal evaluation to ensure we are making a difference for students who have been historically underserved in Oregon. As early as third grade, students who are historically underserved are learning that math and science aren't for them. This sets them on a path toward eventually leaving school without a plan for their future. Our STEM Connect 4/5 changes that narrative. The program engages 4th and 5th graders in learning experiences that increase their interest and change their mindset about math and science. How it works The program creates a close relationship between a company and a local school that has a disproportionate number of students who are historically underserved. The In4All team sets up the partnership, helps define the activities, trains volunteers, attends classroom sessions, and follows up to evaluate the experience. When business volunteers come into the classroom, they lead a hands-on learning activity related to their industry showing how they use math and science in their jobs. Not only do volunteers have a great time being an "educator for the day" four times a year, but they play an important role in engaging students to imagine new possibilities for themselves. The impact An independent evaluation of the STEM Connect 4/5 program showed it successfully improves student attitudes toward math and science, and increases their interests in those fields. The improvement is especially strong among students who had a neutral or negative attitude before the program experience. As students advance into middle school, the number that lose interest in math and sciences jumps significantly. A full 50 percent of students, for example, lose interest in science by the eighth grade -- up from one-third of fourth graders. And less than half of Oregon eighth graders pass the math standard. Our middle school program is designed to increase interest in both subjects before the students enter high school and begin to drop out of the education system entirely. The unique program connects math and science to places in their community — such as a school, park or abandoned property — to make it highly relevant to the students in each school. This "place-based approach" helps make the learning relevant for the student and keeps them engaged in the process. How it works The program pairs a company with a local middle school that has a high population of students who do not see a path to a career or success in life and are at risk of dropping out of school. In4All facilitates the entire process of training volunteers, picking the project, completing the activity, and giving students feedback on their project. The whole process is not only rewarding for volunteers, but this form of learning is proven to increase student interest in school -- an important step to completing high school and taking that next step toward college or career. In Oregon, 7,600 high school students drop out of school every year with no plan for a post-secondary education and no belief they are employable. Studies show we can keep these students engaged in their education -- and give them hope for the future -- by providing meaningful work-based learning experiences. For years, In4All has provided internship opportunities with employers in a wide range of industries. The experience has given hundreds of students the skills, confidence and connections needed to pursue a career. But that is just the beginning of what we will do in the future. Re-imagining high school programming In 2019, we will increase our efforts to bring student voice to programs through an advisory board. The students we select for the board will represent those that high school is not currently working for. The student advisory board will inform In4All program development at the high school level and help us take the final step in completing our engagement model that starts in 4th grade and engages students at critical points throughout their K-12 experience. Stay tuned next year for updates on our progress!