Rolf Schlake presented to our club. Rolf has been a Rotarian for almost 40 years and the past President of Allentown Rotary Club, he is also a member of the steering team for District 7430's planned Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Youth Explorer Academy, starting in the summer of 2022. Rolf is a chemist and owns a manufacturing company in Allentown that produces items such as DNA/RNA kits. Rolf explained the need for this program to be available to middle school students in our district especially to the underserved. 
The Rotary STEM Youth Explorer Academy
In the US today there is a large disparity between the number of STEM college graduates and position openings. The STEM disciplines are key to Rotary’s success in delivering on its “Seven Areas of Focus” 
  • Peacebuilding and conflict prevention
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Community economic development
  • Supporting the Environment
A special committee is working to develop a residential camp (academy) held at college campus where middle school age students (grades 6-8) convene from throughout the District to participate in a multi-day program, akin to Camp Neidig.  The activities and curriculum are built around the STEM disciplines with the intent of inspiring our youth to consider a STEM area as an educational focus. 
To create a context for STEM learning, the District is exploring a partnership with the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute to draw on their educational resources regarding astronomy, space exploration and the search for life beyond earth.   We are also exploring a partnership with Albright College to host the academy and assist in curriculum development as well as faculty training.   The program would include guest speakers, workshops, team building exercises, exploratory hikes and more. 
You can follow this link to learn more about this project and how a Rotary club can be a co-sponsor in a grant application to fund the development of the program.  Rotary clubs will also be asked to sponsor two students a year to send to this 4 day 3 night program at a cost of $300 per student. The district is also looking for volunteers to assist in program development and delivery.