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ROCKETS – Raising Our Children’s Knowledge by Educating Through Science is a theme-based program that promotes early childhood development of science skills. The program provides hands-on STEM activities to at-risk children in Maricopa County to help foster problem solving, critical thinking, and exploration skills that are critical to future academic success.
The ROCKETS program offers monthly classroom lessons for preschool and early elementary students and their parents at the Junior League of Phoenix Classroom located at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix. The program typically includes three STEM based hands-on activities. The curriculum is reinforced with a student take-home bag that includes a fun science-related activity that supports the classroom lesson. Each classroom event engages an average of 300 children and their families, many of whom continue their involvement with ROCKETS at other JLP-sponsored events.
Through the ROCKETS Teacher Launch Seminar, more than 100 preschool and early elementary school teachers in Maricopa County participate in a one-day training seminar that provides non-stop, hands-on science activities. Teachers are empowered to find creative ways to integrate science into their daily lesson plans. The seminar brings science, math, and reading skills to an estimated 1,000+ children per year – making a lasting impact on student’s education for years to come.
ROCKETS coordinates our efforts to maximize JLP’s reach by providing lesson plans as well as hosting booths during other JLP events such as Touch-A-Truck and Kids in the Kitchen.
The ROCKETS program serves preschool and early elementary children in Maricopa County by providing exposure to early science and math education which supports early exposure to STEM programming (STEM a state-wide program that integrates the teaching of Science and Mathematics by incorporating Technology and Engineering).
Structured early science and math programming is currently not offered for most preschool children in Maricopa County below the poverty line, thus ROCKETS reaches the need of those in our community free of charge.
ROCKETS prepares children for success by teaching science and math and arming them comprehensive abilities needed for critical thinking and reading skills.
- Expectation 1: Children develop inquiry skills, including problem-solving and decision-making.
- Expectation 2: Children observe and investigate the properties of objects, both living and nonliving.
- Expectation 3: Children explore the concept of change in both living and nonliving entities in the environment.
- Expectation 4: Children develop an awareness of the environment and human responsibility for its care.
- Expectation 1: Children demonstrate an understanding of number and numerical operations.
- Expectation 2: Children develop knowledge of spatial concepts, e.g., shapes and measurement.
- Expectation 3: Children understand patterns, relationships, and classification.
- Expectation 4: Children develop knowledge of sequence and temporal awareness.
- Expectation 5: Children will use mathematical knowledge to represent, communicate, and solve problems in their environment.
2014 AJLI Community Impact Award Winner
The Junior League of Phoenix ROCKETS program has won the 2014 Association of Junior Leagues International Award for Community Impact2014 Association of Junior Leagues International Award for Community Impact.
ROCKETS has hit several milestones since it began in 2010. JLP has increased membership and community participation in the program; branded itself in the community; created a credible seminar for teachers; attracted funding; and delivered a high-quality science and math skills program to thousands of children. In addition, the League has deepened its partnership with Children’s Museum of Phoenix, which it helped build and where it now maintains a ROCKETS classroom.