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Strong TIES STEM Programs mission is to introduce, engage, and broaden participation of elementary, middle, and high school students, particularly underrepresented and under-served, in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math (STEAM) using culturally relevant tools through skills building programs.
Strong TIES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit grassroots organization who work with community-building partners for increasing K-12 student interest in STEM careers. Strong TIES was founded in 2014 with a concept for impacting STEM through project-based and hands-on camps and working with a small team. This concept is now an annual city-wide program coined "Turn Up for STEAM" and an urban-centric STEM educational infrastructure to address the need for sustainable Out of School Time (OST) programs. As our program has grown, we have learned about the barriers that disadvantaged students face, from basic competency in core subjects to exposure to real-world needs, particularly where science and technology may assist. Many under-represented and under-served students lack the confidence, relationship building skills, and training they need to recognize the value of their ideas and potentials for STEM careers. That is why in 2017 we will launch the Urban STEM Thrive Program to support the empowerment of disadvantaged students with limited access and opportunities.