With the unseen COVID-19 pandemic that took Ohio by shock on March 13th with schools being shut down has truly impacted iSPACE, and many students within the tri-state area. iSPACE being shut for three weeks will not see revenue since schools have cancelled field trips, that is a loss of over $20, 000. If schools are not allowed to open the remainder of the year it will put our total program loss over $60,000. This also means we will not be able to serve the 47 low income under served classes that we have committed to through grant money. That is over 1100 students that will be affected and miss out on hands on STEM learning.
Another program that iSPACE offers is Making Mathletes, if we do not open for the remainder of the school year. That will mean 37 cancelled Making Mathletes days, about 75 missed classes, and 520 students that will miss instruction. Out of those, two schools will not have had any Making Mathletes meetings at all which will effect about 210 students.
Not only does this impact our goal of reaching 500 students, this is a missed opportunity to work with students and teachers in our community to provide what iSPACE offers which is hands on learning and to see what skills can do for students. One of the delights of this program is meeting with students over several weeks and getting to know them as we conduct our lessons. Not only will our students miss out on these opportunities, but our staff will not be able to see our students again, something many teachers across the country now face. Many of us as teachers of this program have success stories of students who have been able to finally grasp a concept with our help and tactile teaching techniques. It is a victory that all iSPACE staff, classroom teachers and students can share; and it is something we look forward to experiencing with our “LEGO classes”. It is disheartening to know that we will not be able to provide more of these moments to the students we have already come to know as well as students at schools we will not have the chance to work with.
Our Supper and Steam program is no longer taking place this program had five sessions left for the remaining of the school year. This will impact 40 students who join iSPACE for an interactive STEM experience and we provide a meal to those in attendance.
We are still unsure if this COVID-19 will effect our eight week summer camps that take place in the Sharonville, Ohio area, as well as our pilot location in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.