SKYHOOK ECO-VAN PROGRAM
News Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contacts: Curtis Vogel, (818) 237-0578,
October 19, 2020
GROUNDBREAKING SKYHOOK ECO-VAN PROGRAM BRINGS MOBILE CLASSROOMS TO L.A.’S KIDS
Los Angeles Unified, Laker Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and the City of Los Angeles team up to make STEM education more accessible during a pandemic.
What You Need to Know:
Custom-made Skyhook Eco-Vans will allow hands-on learning for students in safe, socially-distanced outdoor environments.
Activities are developed in collaboration with UCLA Science Project and The Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA to apply best practices in science and environment-based education.
LOS ANGELES, CA – In these unprecedented times, when children are most likely to be distance learning via computer, it’s more important than ever before to give young students a chance to do hands-on learning in a way that will enlighten and inspire them.
That’s why the Los Angeles Unified is teaming up with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Skyhook Foundation and the City of Los Angeles to bring STEM and NASA environmental science protocols to students with the debut of Los Angeles Unified Skyhook Eco-Vans, a mobile alternative to create immersive learning experiences in the outdoors while so many indoor options remain unavailable.
“A great education can transform the life a child. And a great education needs the support of the community,” Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “The eco-vans provide additional learning opportunities for students. We are grateful to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his team at Skyhook, the City of Los Angeles, NASA, JPL and UCLA for their commitment to our students.”
The core themes of the four Skyhook Foundation Eco-Vans are based on NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program. The Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Biosphere and Atmosphere Eco-Vans will be deployed across the city to provide hands-on learning to Los Angeles Unified students.
“Our kids are the heart of our communities — and they deserve every opportunity to excel in science, technology, engineering, math, and the fields of innovation that will shape our future,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Investing in our children’s enrichment and education is a slam dunk for our city, and thanks to the incredible generosity of Kareem and the Skyhook Foundation, the Eco-Van program will open doors of possibility in the center of our neighborhoods.”
Activities have been created in conjunction with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA GLOBE) and UCLA Science Project. Los Angeles Unified before and after school staff provide facilitation and instruction of experiential learning. The Skyhook Foundation will continue to support as the program transitions past the COVID era and support school sites.
“Our mission is to “Give Kids a Shot that can’t be Blocked,” said Skyhook Foundation’s founder, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “We believe that igniting a child’s interest in STEM at an early age is the kind of spark that can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding career path that benefits everyone.”
ABOUT LOS ANGELES UNIFIED
Los Angeles Unified is the largest school district in California and the second-largest in the nation, with nearly 700,000 students. It has 1,413 schools, including traditional campuses, magnets, special education centers, early education centers, adult schools, and independent charters. Serving more than 700 square miles, Los Angeles Unified encompasses all of the city of Los Angeles, along with all or portions of 26 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. English and 99 other languages are spoken by Los Angeles Unified students, making it one of the most diverse school districts in the United States.
ABOUT SKYHOOK FOUNDATION
NBA Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar started Skyhook Foundation to “give kids a shot that can’t be blocked” by making STEM education more accessible to underserved communities. The foundation’s flagship program is a partnership with Los Angeles Unified Clear Creek Outdoor Education Center-Camp Skyhook, an immersive, hands-on learning experience for five days and four nights in the Angeles National Forest. There is currently a six-year waiting list for schools who want to participate in the program. Donations to Skyhook Foundation go directly towards expanding Camp Skyhook at Clear Creek and the Eco-Vans mobile learning programs.