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Funded by the 49ers Foundation, Chevron, and other collaborative partners, through a six-year program, the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute’s Chevron STEMZONE takes academically talented students and provide tools for them to be outstanding.  The Institute prepares them to engage in scientific research, impactful community-changing projects, or become entrepreneurs – putting them on the path to enroll in a top-tier university with a STEM major.  Much like a football coach identifies athletes based on potential to succeed and their ability to be coached and molded into a football player, the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute identifies students who show the potential to succeed academically and who, with a little guidance and resources, can truly excel and grow into being a leader in STEM.  Students commit to the STEM leadership program and participate in program-related classes during the school day, after school and during the summer.  This includes academic services and leadership development to prepare them for admission to top-tier universities and STEM majors. The program focuses on four main areas: 1) academic excellence, 2) leadership development, 3) task commitment (through increased risk-taking, determination, and initiative), and 4) creativity (through development of curiosity and imagination).  Housed at Cabrillo Middle School in Santa Clara, each year, the middle school Institute program will recruit rising 7th-grade students from Santa Clara Unified School District who show academic promise or who are highly motivated to succeed. In 2016, the program will expand to Santa Clara High School where a four-year program will be integrated into a state-of-the-art Chevron STEMZONE.  Core features of the program include a robust hands-on learning component to solve real-world problems.  Through the education Chevron STEMZONE fabrication lab (or “Makerspace”), students have the opportunity to explore, discover, build, and engineer their own projects.  Students compete in local and national STEM competitions, such as the Tech Challenge and various robotics competitions. Students have role models and mentors to guide them in their growth.  In high school, students will have the opportunity to shadow mentors and participate in internships and fellowships at research institutions or in companies with a strong STEM component.

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