Why We Ride
The Path to STEM Success
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is at the core of national security and economic prosperity worldwide. Student performance in STEM fields must improve for the international economy to soar in the future. Cycle for STEM enables participants—cyclists and support staff alike—to have fun while making a difference in the lives of STEM students and teachers.
Individuals who make up the Cycle for STEM community are dedicated to helping the next generation and to each other. Passionate cyclists revel in the challenge of pedaling 335 miles from Pittsburgh, PA, to Washington, D.C. Others prefer the four- or one-day ride. Still others admire the cyclists and put their talents into making sure it’s a smooth ride by providing support all along the route. Their roles may be different, but their goal is the same: Strengthen STEM education in schools and communities.
All Cycle for STEM proceeds help the AFCEA Educational Foundation provide scholarships and grants to deserving STEM students and teachers. In addition, this activity endeavors to elevate community awareness about the importance of STEM education to the nation.
Photos & Stories
Your Support Makes a Difference
“I am writing in appreciation for your generous contribution in funding the AFCEA STEM Teachers for America’s Future Scholarship. I am extremely honored to be this year’s recipient of the award. My goal throughout life is to offer students their best, allowing them to maximize their potential. I want students to see that often when people doubt us, we sometimes begin to doubt ourselves as well, but instead we must encourage ourselves. Life’s journey has proven to me that the sky is the limit!
I am so honored and excited to receive the AFCEA STEM Teachers Scholarship because it is the reason I can begin pursuing my big dream to obtain a Ph.D. in mathematics education. Due to my financial situation, I was not going to be able to continue my education.You must know that receiving this scholarship is an honor serving as another source of motivation to continue pursing my mission to educate and inspire as many students as possible, and for that I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for believing in me.”
Jessica Wilson, Tampa, FL
"Thanks to my AFCEA STEM Teaching Tools Grant, I was able to purchase 25 Carolinas' Young Scientist Brain Dissection Kits so that every girl could participate in their own sheep brain dissection. The dissection was a culminating experience for our unit on the human brain. In order to support this unit, I also purchased with the remaining funds from the grant and my budget, a FOSS Human Brain and Sense Course that included multiple activities and resources to support their study on the human brain. The girls were fully immersed in their study of the human brain and many reported at the end of the unit that they were conisdering fields in medicine or biology. They didn't think they would like doing a dissection but it turned out that they LOVED it!"
Ashley Hurlock, Pasadena, CA
"I used my AFCEA STEM Teacher Grant to support activities in my physics and integrated chemistry/biology classes with many, many purchases throughout the year. All 100 students benefited from this grant.
For the physics classes, I purchased bowling balls and brooms which were used to look at forces, inertia, momentum and circular motion. In addition, we studied energy by building and improving mousetrap cars, and funds were used to support this activity. The last thing purchased was a scribbler robot, which is a programmable robot that students use to gain an understanding of the motion of an object. The goal is to work with the robot over the summer and integrate into the curriculum next year.
In the integrated biology/chemistry (biochem), some of the funds were used to support our classroom aquaponics system. We built and maintained these systems to study a variety of topics including the chemistry in the ecosystem and the process of photosynthesis.
Throughout the year I used a variety of manipulatives for helping students to visualize the abstract concepts int he chemistry units. This included things like candies that wer used to understand atom characteristics to frootloops that were used to look at how to show ionic bonds and later marshmallows and toothpicks used to create complex molecules. There were 4 biochem courses (a total of 120 students) (two taught by me and two taught by another teacher). This contribution made a big difference in them having the supplies and contributed to the success of these students.
Overall, I was able to spread the funds to support many different activities and MUCH of what I purchased this year can be reused for many more years to come. The funds made a significant difference in providing students with activities that were engaging, as well as tactile and hands-on!"
Elyane Gruber, Sammamish High School, Bellevue, WA