Back to school looks a little different this year, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the dedication of educators to teach today’s youth. At Mongoose, it’s our opinion that a bicycle is a powerful tool to engage students learning from home, and a new study shows we may be right!
Mongoose commissioned a study of 2000 American parents to better understand what will help their children learn valuable STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) skills during the pandemic. The results of the study revealed over 70% of parents fear their child falling behind in STEM subjects, and a contributing factor being the lack of hands-on learning.
Hands-on learning is something our partners at the USA BMX Foundation specialize in. In 2019, their programming helped impact over 200,000 kids through bike-centric school activities. Their innovative curriculum included Track Modeling, a BMX STEM bike program, and the incentive-based Read to Ride program to keep kids engaged. In partnership with Mongoose, the plan is to extend these opportunities to even more children.
73% of the 2000 parents surveyed agreed their child hasn’t spent enough time outdoors being physically active since the pandemic began. That statistic is concerning when you consider the link between physical movement and the ability to learn and retain knowledge.
"Kids at play, especially active and strenuous play, develop an unconscious knowledge about physics and motion,” said Scott Soutter, Artificial Intelligence Leader at IBM. “Problem sets like what USA BMX Foundation has developed give kids the language to bridge internal understanding to foundational STEM skills. It’s a great way to build confidence and do so with relevance and fun."
The survey group agreed kids need active play as a part of learning. When asked how many hours per week children should be involved in hands-on learning outside the classroom, the average response was 5 hours per week.
An organization solely focused on after school programming is the Afterschool Alliance. We caught up with their Executive Director, Jodi Gant, and asked her opinion on the pandemic and how it will impact school this year.
“As students continue to recover from missed schooling it’s critical that more STEM programs like these are available to our kids,” said Jodi. “This survey reminds us that there is a troubling knowledge gap about STEM in this nation. The bike-centric STEM program created by the USA BMX Foundation in partnership with Mongoose is the kind of creative, thoughtful and cutting-edge program that out-of-school-time programs embrace.”
Whether students are doing in-person or virtual, at-home learning this fall, the team at Mongoose is excited to have more kids riding bikes through USA BMX Foundation’s creative programming. If you’d like to learn more about how to get one of these programs in a school near you, please check out all the details on the USA BMX Foundation website.