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Beyond Sport & 49ers Foundation strengthen Sport & STEM partnership

March 25, 2019

Beyond Sport and the San Francisco 49ers Foundation taking sport and STEM partnership to the next level 

With a growing need for more creative and collaborative approaches to stimulate youth’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Beyond Sport and the 49ers Foundation are strengthening our partnership to accelerate efforts to ignite passion in STEM education through sport. Beyond Sport has been a leading force for sustainable social change through sport for more than a decade and the San Francisco 49ers Foundation award-winning STEAM (including Arts) education program has been transformative for Bay area youth.

Sports’ global appeal, especially among young people, and its use of STEM innovations in how games are played, in equipment and tactics provides an ideal vehicle to capture and channel student interest. It is already being used successfully around the world, including by the 49ers and many members of the Alliance, to engage students in learning.

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However, with overall student interest in STEM continuing to decline at an eye-opening rate, while jobs in STEM fields grow exponentially – by 2022, there will be more than nine million jobs in STEM fields, but currently, job vacancies in the sector are nearly triple that of other jobs – it’s clear that more is needed. For example, 60% of US ninth graders lose interest in STEM subjects by the time graduation comes around.

As key founding members of the Sport & STEM Alliance (along with Chevron) which grew out of an initial partnership that resulted in the creation of Beyond Innovation in 2017 -- the first-ever event dedicated to exploring how sports can be leveraged as a tool to improve, empower and create new approaches to STEM education -- Beyond Sport and the 49ers Foundation are taking a leading role in moving the Alliance to the next level. For two years the Alliance’s diverse membership has dedicated itself to understanding how sport can be used to advance STEM education. As Strategic Partners, the two organizations will look to push the learnings forward in 2019, creating a truly global and diverse member network that will use a new digital platform to become a year-round resource to share and amplify best practice, implement creative ideas and to create concrete solutions together.

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“The Sport and STEM Alliance is an entity in which we have been invested since its inception in 2017 because of its ability to convene industry stakeholders to create meaningful change and educational opportunities for youth around the world through sport,” said 49ers EDU director Jesse Lovejoy, who oversees the 49ers efforts in educating more than 60,000 Kindergarten through eighth grade students in STEAM at Levi’s® Stadium. “We eagerly anticipate our ability to shape the direction and emphasis of the Alliance, now and into the future, toward the dual ends of making a greater impact on youth around the world and sharing best practices amongst its members.”

Maintaining a skilled STEM workforce is vital to society's future; they will lead the way in innovating solutions to address food and energy shortages, cures for diseases, climate change, declining natural resources, healthcare, manufacturing and much more. At the first meeting of the 2019 Alliance, hosted by the NYU School of Professional Studies on April 2, members representing a diverse group of brands, teams, leagues, educators and NGOs, will decide on the key areas of focus for the year and shape the objectives going forward.

“The year ahead for the 2019 Sport and STEM Alliance is shaping up to be our most active ever, with a membership that is increasingly broadening across sectors," said Fred Turner, Director of Programming and Development for Beyond Sport. "This diversity of thought and experience is essential to creating truly innovative ideas and solutions to capture student interest and help them to see that the opportunities in STEM through the lens of sport. Beyond Sport is looking forward to deepening our partnership with the 49ers Foundation to continue to bring together top minds working on this issue around the world. Through the platform the Alliance provides, the collective impact potential grows exponentially."

Current Alliance Member Organizations include: Chelsea FC Foundation, ESPN, EverFi, i-tri, Learn Fresh, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, MLB, MLSE LaunchPad, NBA/WNBA, NHL, North Melbourne FC, NYU, Oakland Athletics, Port Adelaide FC, STEM Sports, TGR Foundation (Tiger Woods) and UNICEF USA.

Inspiring tomorrow’s out of the box thinkers needs out of the box thinking today. Don’t miss out on the chance to help set our agenda and be part of the solution. Email [email protected] to learn how you can be part of the Sport & STEM Alliance.

Along with Alliance members, representatives from the Jackie Robinson Museum, Tata Consultancy Services, Victor Cruz Foundation, Discovery Education, EPIC Foundation, Verizon, Play Like a Girl, Prudential Center, New Jersey Devils, New York Mets, Techbridge Girls, Laureus and Richemont are scheduled to attend the April Forum.

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