Santa Barbara Education Foundation Fuels Santa Barbara Unified STEAM Pilot Program

By Giving List Staff   |   December 20, 2023

The Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) proudly announces its support in advancing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education within the Santa Barbara Unified School District. With an investment of $11,500, SBEF is helping to launch a transformative STEAM pilot program led by the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy (DPEA).

DPEA advances STEAM learning for students as an umbrella entity by delivering top tier learning experiences to Santa Barbara Unified students and staff. In addition to the operation of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, the group facilitates professional development, creates curriculum, organizes enriching field trips, and crafts museum-quality educational experiences primarily led by students.

Through developing a new innovative STEAM curriculum, DPEA will help provide high-quality experiences for more than 1,000 students across nine elementary schools in the district. This collaboration aims to bring equity and sustainability to Santa Barbara Unified’s STEAM education. Two schools currently lack a STEAM program, and this initiative seeks to formalize the curriculum, providing equal access and training opportunities for teachers.

The pilot program, led by seven dedicated elementary Santa Barbara Unified STEAM teachers, is set to commence during this school year. The projects will incorporate the district’s new English Language Arts curriculum, Wit & Wisdom, and will be tested in classrooms with feedback from students, teachers, and parents.

Students in grades 1-3 will discover the world of computer science through Sphero indi robots. While fourth-grade students investigate scientific matters of the heart by crafting pumps and stethoscopes to record heartbeats for a unique song. Complementing this, fifth-grade students will explore space and star systems, with students assembling LED-lit constellations integrated into AI-generated graphics.

Adam Elementary Design Center teacher Sean Federbusch shared, “The generous Santa Barbara Education Foundation grant marks a transformative moment for STEAM education in our district. This financial support fuels our ambitious pilot program and ignites a collaborative spirit among educators, students, and the community.”

Pedro Paz, Executive Director of Santa Barbara Education Foundation, added, “We are proud to be part of this initiative that not only enhances STEAM education but also embodies our commitment to fostering innovation and equal access to quality learning experiences for all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.”

Santa Barbara Education Foundation, dedicated to private support for Santa Barbara’s public education system, serves over 12,200 students in 19 schools. For more information, visit


Santa Barbara Education Foundation

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Executive Director: Pedro Paz


Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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