Today we’d like to introduce you to Jason Martin.
Jason, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was a student who struggled to find meaning and purpose in school. Although I was on a college-bound track, I became an apprentice to a mason during my junior year in high school. This transformational experience showed me what “real world” relevance meant. Inspired by my mentor, I became a teacher, eventually earning the “Teacher of the Year” award.
However, in my 22 years trying to reform public education, most youth in schools, and especially those in our poorest zip codes, sit in a classroom that looks remarkably like one our grandparents would remember; using a textbook, behind a desk, next to 25 other kids, facing one teacher. This is not where I, nor many students thrive.
So, I created a systemic level solution that reflects what worked in my life. I believe we can disrupt how teachers teach and what students learn, by bringing the change that’s needed and parking it right outside the classroom door.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
STE(A)M Truck has gone over many bumps, sometimes literally, as we seek to drive change and eliminate inequities. While we’ve been fortunate with early and deep support, notably a $200,000 grant in our first year of programming from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, we struggle to meet the acute needs too often predicted by zip code.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about STE(A)M Truck – what should we know?
By driving a mobile innovation lab filled with tools and technologies directly to schools in our poorest neighborhoods, we believe we can close opportunity gaps too often predicted by zip code. Our award-winning program is called STE(A)M Truck and it provides access to materials, community experts, and a problem-based curriculum and drives it directly to youth where they live.
Our program allows educators and their students to work side by side with our staff, tackling real, not textbook, problems. We align our hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math approach into the existing curriculum. More importantly, we ensure teachers are equipped to continue this approach once we drive away by leaving behind a physical set of tools and providing ongoing technical assistance.
We’ve grown from one vehicle to six in just four years and served over 10,000 kids in Georgia. As we scale our STE(A)M Truck program, more K12 youth throughout the U.S. will have access to transformative learning experiences that open doors for future life opportunities.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Teamwork and collaboration. Grit and perseverance. Creativity and innovation.
- One day Builds start at $750
- Coaching and technical support starts at $5,000
- Capacity Builds with over 600 hours of support starts at $25,000
- Address: 115 M.L.K. Jr Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 (Community Guilds c/o Center of Civic Innovation, Third Floor)
- Website: www.steamtruck.org
- Phone: 404 783 6087
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steamtruck/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CommunityGuilds
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/steamtruck