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July 3, 2024

STEAMing Ahead: Homeschool STEAM’s Impactful Partnerships

Monica Encarnacion, Suncoast Remake Learning Days Event Host

Our journey with Suncoast Remake Learning Days (SRLD) has been a platform for incredible learning and connections and a catalyst for community growth. For Homeschool STEAM, SRLD’s events were not just about hosting a fun STEAM festival, but also about creating a sense of community and fostering collaboration that continues to benefit our community.

To help bring our SRLD vision to fruition, The Patterson Foundation kindly connected us with Manatee County Department of Natural Resources. Thanks to their support, in April 2024, we hosted a successful Homeschool STEAM Festival at the Nest at Robinson Preserve. This engaging STEAM collaboration featured hands-on activities, robotics workshops, and engineering challenges for all ages, attracting more than 280 people and serving over 80 local families.

Our continued relationship with the Nest and the Manatee County Department of Natural Resources is a testament to SRLD’s lasting impact. In May, we co-hosted an educational meetup at the Nest for our newly launched Suncoast Innovative Educators Network, a chapter of the South Florida InEd Network. This growing network, co-founded with Justine Wilson (a fellow educator and friend I met through SRLD!), is now a pillar of support for over 35 local educators leading non-traditional education programs, micro-schools, homeschool co-ops, and enrichment programs.

Further nurturing our relationship, Manatee County Department of Natural Resources has invited us and other local educators to participate in their upcoming back-to-school “GROWING UP WILD” educator workshop, further solidifying our collaborative spirit. We’re excited to continue leveraging these partnerships to grow and support children, families, and educators in our community.

Homeschool STEAM was invited back to the Nest for Manatee County World Ocean Day on June 8th, allowing us to connect with 50 new families and over 150 attendees! This event led to exciting new collaborations with organizations like Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS) and Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. Inspired by their work, Homeschool STEAM is now developing a Beach Science curriculum to empower kids and families to participate in marine biology and ocean conservation.

Our participation in SRLD and the invaluable support from our community have been instrumental in helping Homeschool STEAM grow. The Patterson Foundation’s support went beyond just connecting us with amazing resources; they even helped us secure community volunteers when we found ourselves short-handed for our Homeschool STEAM Fest event. These volunteers played a vital role in making our SRLD event a success, expanded our collaborative efforts, and connected us with a wider community. In fact, through one of our incredible volunteers, we were introduced to St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton and recently got to tour their beautiful campus and learn all about their upcoming STEAM Center, currently under construction and set to open to the community in 2025!

Thanks to our participation in SRLD, Homeschool STEAM has reached more local learners, created exciting STEAM learning opportunities, sparked new interests, and strengthened our community through collaboration. We’re excited to continue sharing this experience and inspiring a love of learning in Southwest Florida!

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