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March 22, 2019

The San Francisco 49ers education consulting venture, EDU Academy, announced last week a partnership with Play Like a Girl (PLAG) to introduce a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) education curriculum to female youth. Launching in June in Nashville, with eventual expansion across the country, the program will leverage sports to engage students in STEAM subjects.

PLAG, a US 501(c)3 charitable organization providing high-impact STEAM and sports programs to girls in a supportive environment, is working with EDU Academy to launch a curriculum  focused on project-based learning and 21st Century learning skills. Play Like a Girl is a Tennessee-based organization that helps rising 9th grade girls deepen their love of sports and gain exposure to exciting sports-related careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Modeled after 49ers EDU’s successful STEAM education platform, which has engaged more than 210,000 kindergarten through 8th grade Bay Area children in STEAM learning through football for nearly five years, EDU Academy will work alongside PLAG to develop the program’s curriculum.

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"EDU Academy is a company that is synonymous with sport and innovation in the minds of people around the world," said Dr. Kimberly Clay, Founder/CEO of Play Like a Girl. "We are thrilled to work with an innovator like EDU Academy to enhance STEAM and sports education for Play Like a Girl participants in Nashville and across the country."

The curriculum will use the fundamental principles of sports as a conduit to increase openness to and pursuit of STEAM subjects and will be aligned to Tennessee Academic Standards, infuse project-based learning and reinforce key life skills for young girls. The half-day, 5-lesson series will contain lessons focused on each STEAM subject that are aligned to a different sports concept, piece of equipment or principle.

“EDU Academy was established in 2017 to carry forward the mission of 49ers EDU by working with like minded organizations to help young students establish a stronger connection with STEAM through sport, and Play Like a Girl embodies that and more,” said Jesse Lovejoy, director of 49ers EDU and managing partner of EDU Academy. “The 49ers and EDU Academy are proud to strategically collaborate with Dr. Clay and her staff to enrich the lives of young women across the country through the power of athletics combined with STEAM education.”

Beyond Sport and the 49ers Foundation are key Founding Members and Strategic Partners of the Sport & STEM Alliance, a global collaborative working together to devise ways to creatively use sport to ignite passion in STEM education. The 2019 Alliance kicks off April 2 and the 49ers and PLAG, who first met at Beyond Innovation, will present a case study on their work.  Learn more about the Alliance and how you can join here.

The San Francisco 49ers were also the official winners of the 2015 Beyond Sport Global Award for Sport Team of the Year. To learn more about the Annual Awards, click here. 



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