November 07, 2016

Going global with TGR EDU: Explore

Since inception, the TGR Learning Lab has transformed how students learn through innovative, hands-on approaches to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education, connecting what they do in school to real-world careers and opportunities. With an increased emphasis on high-quality STEM professional development, the TGR Learning Lab has expanded its effort — via engaging workshops held coast-to-coast — to help teachers and educators create meaningful learning opportunities for the students they serve. This type of work ensures that more students are exposed to life-changing experiences, with the end goal of creating a nationwide movement to transform communities through education.  

Meanwhile, the Earl Woods Scholar Program, launched in the same year as the first TGR Learning Lab in Anaheim, California, in 2006, has set new benchmarks for how to effectively support — via college-access workshops, mentorships and other wraparound services — high-achieving students from disadvantaged communities in their journey into and through college, boasting an impressive 98.7 percent graduation rate from the country’s top colleges and universities. Together, the TGR Learning Lab and Earl Woods Scholar Program work hand-in-hand to create pathways for students to excel in college, the workforce and the communities where they live.

The recently announced partnership with Discovery Education, TGR EDU: Explore, will help the Tiger Woods Foundation take these innovative programs global, with the goal of impacting millions of students, from rural communities to inner cities. Combining the two pillars of Tiger Woods Foundation programming — engaging STEM learning experiences and high-quality college-access support — with our philosophy on positive youth development and family engagement, students will become active participants in their learning like never before.

To accomplish this feat, the Tiger Woods Foundation and Discovery Education have created an accessible platform for all that will contain a multitude of activities, digital experiences, lesson plans and more, scheduled to go live in January 2017.

One of the first digital program elements is called College Blueprint. College Blueprint will be a 40-minute self-paced digital learning experience for high school students to get a comprehensive understanding of the college admissions and application process — from finding the right college, to filling out a college application, to identifying sources of financial aid and more. Many students across the country do not have access to this information and are often left in the dark when it comes to navigating the transition from high school to college. The goal of College Blueprint is to level the playing field, so that students in underserved communities are just as prepared to enter and succeed in college as those from high-income areas.

Also launching in January 2017 will be a variety of activities for teachers and families to reinforce college-access topics and strengthen positive youth development skills, such as self-advocacy, grit and perseverance, and leadership (all skills that will be woven throughout each digital program element).

Coming online starting in March 2017, and beyond, will be dozens of additional learning experiences and activities for both students and educators in the areas of STEM and college access. Teachers will have access to original lesson plans in STEM that can be immediately implemented in a variety of educational environments. These lesson plans, which will be aligned to recent national standards, will give students the opportunity to experience hands-on activities and make meaningful connections to real-world applications. Additionally, students will have access to at least five 20-30-minute self-paced digital experiences that will introduce and explore the careers of STEM professionals. Each digital experience will be accompanied with a teacher guide that will walk through how best to implement the module in a classroom and include follow-up activities to reinforce concepts both at school and at home.  

Since joining the Tiger Woods Foundation in 2007, I have seen it all. As a facilitator in STEM classrooms for students in grades five through 12, as a curriculum developer, as a program coordinator, as a lead instructor who helped launch expansion TGR Learning Lab sites in Washington, D.C., and up and down the East Coast, and now as a program director who works closely with all aspects of the Tiger Woods Foundation, I am privileged to help bring the amazing work we do with students, educators and families online in order to reach millions more.

TGR EDU: Explore is the next step in our effort to change the world through meaningful and accessible education for all, no matter where you come from.

Champions of the unexpected for 20 years.