Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in Academics and E-STEM

“The U.S. needs 1 million more E-STEM professionals over the next decade than it is projected to produce at the current rate.”

National Math & Science Initiative

THE CHALLENGE: Students need new skills and mindsets to be successful. The students of tomorrow need to be able to think creatively; they need to learn on their own, adapt to new challenges, and innovate on-the-fly. 

I Will Mentorship Foundation is excited to announce our planned partnership with Creative Learning Systems for the launch of the ATLAS Mobile Smart Lab. ATLAS (Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in Academics and E-STEM) will provide underserved students in Southwest Florida with the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to excel in E-STEM fields, but financial resources are needed. With your support, students will be exposed to sustainable career paths and the supply of E-STEM workers within our community will increase. Preliminary estimates set the total cost of this project at approximately $175,000. Your generosity will help make this project possible


Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in Academics and E-STEM

In the past, employers hired based on an applicant’s knowledge to contribute. However, all of that changed in January of 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the first cell phone equipped with an internet browser and its now famous Siri interface. Since then, massive amounts of information are now available at our fingertips, and the term “skilled worker” has changed forever. With the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and 5G, an increasing share of jobs will require a background in science, technology, engineering or math (E-STEM), and those with strong experience will find themselves at the center of our new economy. According to the US Department of Labor, E-STEM trained workers will be required to fill at least 20% of all new jobs over the next 10 years. Tomorrow’s E-STEM worker must be fluent with next generation technology, possess 21st century soft skills, and be capable to think critically in order to access and process vast amounts of real-time information.

To meet this challenge, I Will Mentorship Foundation must rapidly adapt our learning environments to ensure we equip our students with the skills they need to meet this new demand for E-STEM careers.

Our schools continue to face significant challenges in delivering 21st century skills, especially through E-STEM…


  • Heavy change for schools adapting to new standards

  • Lack of access to ongoing, quality training

  • Uncertainty about expectations for teachers

  • Limited in-school time

…resulting in inadequate (and inequitable) preparation of students for high-potential career opportunities


  • Low E-STEM proficiency and college readiness

  • Large differences by income, ethnicity, and gender

  • U.S. kids are becoming less creative and more risk averse

Your investment in our proposed SmartLab is designed to deliver the following student outcomes:

Increased student engagement with purposeful technologies.

Gallup Corporation surveys approximately a million students every year. The 2016 survey found that only half of adolescents feel engaged in school and 20% are actively disengaged. About 10% are classified as both disengaged and discouraged. Engagement levels consistently decrease as students get older – finally bottoming out in 11th grade. Sadly, learning levels are tied directly to engagement levels. 

Fortunately, there has always been an answer. Student-based outcomes with ample student choice. It should be no surprise that many students feel empowered when choosing their projects. This is enhanced even more when they choose their outcome and reflect on their challenges.

Soft skill development is a prerequisite.

  • Ability to act as a team player ­– curriculum requires students to work in teams
  • Flexibility – students experience the importance of adaptability and leadership
  • Effective communication – students journal experiences, assess performance and present results to classmates
  • Problem-solving and resourcefulness – students solve problems that require critical thinking, creativity, ingenuity and patience
  • Acceptance of guidance and feedback – The SmartLab’s design supports collaboration that is essential for today’s organizations

Students who typically struggle suddenly become engaged. Mid-level students start pursuing more challenging work. And our high achievers? They soar. 


Dennis Gable, Facilitator, Elkhart Central High School

Students will develop familiarity with next generation technology.

  • Alternative and Renewable Energy
  • Circuitry
  • Computer Graphics
  • Digital Communications
  • Enviornmental Conservation
  • Mechanics and Structures
  • Robotics and Control Technology
  • Scientific Data and Analysis
  • Software Engineering

SmartLab has no boundaries. A place with no boundaries means kids exceed anything you expected.

Courtney Miller, a Creative Learning System SmartLab Facilitator

It’s not just used during the school day.

Many schools discover that a Mobile STEM lab can be used to engage more than just the gifted students during the school day. Administrators can deploy multiple models of usage that will serve a broader number of students, parents, and members of our community. Here are a few examples. 
Afterschool – extending into this time of day will enable students to further explore engagements and hone independent learning skills.
Summer STEM Camp – curb the summer slide, promote your school to outside students. Use this camp as a fundraiser.
Parent/Guardian E-STEM Night – these students facilitated events will allow your best ambassadors of STEM to teach their own parents/guardians.
• Community E-STEM Night – very similar to parent/guardian nights, but with community, government, and corporate stakeholders. It provides a great forum for your organization to engage both teachers, students, and parents.
E-STEM Night and the S Stands for Senior Citizen – multi-generational learning in the Smart Lab is authentic. Seniors love to have students “teach” them about even the most basic of projects.  
Teacher Professional Development E-STEM Workshops – STEM shouldn’t be a concept only in the lab, move project-based learning into the classroom by holding PD workshops in the Smart Lab.