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Two Bit Circus Foundation

STEAM Guide to the Galaxy

Nonprofit

STEAM Guide to the Galaxy is 2BCF's online learning/play library, designed to address distance learning and offer in-classroom resources for preK-12 students. Project Playbooks contain project-based science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). The Two Bit Remote Gameshow uses our team's live stream gameshow platform to present STEAM-related quizzes, classes, clown calisthenics, a fully immersive online STEAM learning carnival. Each of these, with this grant, will be adapted for special needs students in/out of the classroom.



Describe the mission of your organization.

We serve children in all economic situations by creating learning experiences to inspire entrepreneurship, encourage young inventors, and instill environmental stewardship. Imagine a giant circus tent for creative play, making, curiosity, imagination, & community. That’s us!

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

2BCF’s STEAM programming is being used locally in over 180 preK-12 schools, over half of them Title I schools. When COVID-19 halted our in-school programming, we immediately pivoted to converting our Project Playbooks to virtual platforms. This experience showed us how few resources there are where teachers, students and parents can access remotely innovative curriculum-related project-based learning. When we looked into distance learning for special needs kids, we discovered even less. With distance learning, beyond adapting to learning from home, the special needs child has to learn from a voice on a computer. What we are hearing from many parents is that kids are simply opting out. Our children are falling dangerously behind in their STEAM skills. The marketplace needs resources for playful learning where these skills are developed through play both in the classroom and from home.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

2BCF is committed to providing high-quality, innovative educational resources to all students regardless of race, gender, income, ability status or delivery format. As such, we are continuing to build our growing online library, which we call “STEAM Guide to the Galaxy.” The library already contains five Project Playbooks that contain hundreds of standards-aligned project-based-learning activities that can be done alone, as a class, online, or by families. In response to a troubling lack of online resources for students with different learning abilities, we will be adapting each Playbook for students with special needs, and all future Playbooks will come with a special needs companion. And, since we don’t believe in all work and no fun, we are adapting our 2020 Two Bit Circus Remote quiz show program to offer a playful collection of STEAM games and challenges for the whole family. Using the live streaming gameshow platform, we have developed a virtual STEAM Carnival that includes our gameshow, quizzes, classes, clown calisthenics, and more - a fully immersive online Carnival designed to replace the Science Fair. Our premise is that you get the science enthusiasts to attend a Science Fair, while everyone wants to go to a Carnival! In person or online, we will educate while entertaining and engaging students.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

260,000
Direct impact
1,500,000
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

With this grant, 2BCF will complete our STEAM projects adding to the 5 current Playbooks. Los Angeles teachers, students and families will have a rich resource of project-based and playful educational assets, including for students with special needs. As dedicated and innovative as our local teachers are, no one can deny that we were all caught short with the conversion to distance-learning. For special needs teachers, it was even more challenging. 2BCF believes that even when schools re-open distance learning will remain a valuable asset. With our intellectual heart grounded in standards-aligned playful learning, 2BCF is uniquely qualified to fill this need through our STEAM Guide to the Galaxy that will support all teachers, students and families, regardless of geography. Our kids can enjoy developing their STEAM skills, teachers can breathe easier, and Los Angeles will become the center of the creative in class and distance learning universe.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

When delivering curriculum to preK-12 classrooms in Los Angeles Counties, 2BCF has used pre-then-post surveys to gauge the receptivity and effectiveness of the curriculum. 2BCF will continue using that technique as we continue to develop options for the Project Playbook library. Once adapted, we will test run the special needs curriculum in one LA County school district. Our special needs consultant is working with us to design the survey which will be administered by special education teachers. We will complete that evaluation before making our special needs materials available to all. For the STEAM Carnival, we will provide a voluntary evaluation survey about the content and ease of use. We will also keep track of the Library’s popularity and use by monitoring unique visits, lengths of stay and returns.

Which of the learn metrics will you impact?​

  • High school graduation rates
  • K-8 chronic absenteeism
  • Proficiency in STEM

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the best place to PLAY
  • LA is the best place to CONNECT

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