LAEF STEAM gives more than $80K in grants

Pictured are Lee students showing off their controller connected to a Makey Makey set purchased with LAEF grant funds.

The Los Alamitos Education Foundation granted more $80,000 to Los Al schools for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math) needs this school year.

Popular purchases this year included Makey Makey Stem kits and 3D pens. Makey Makey kits make inventions simple by attaching alligator clips to an object that allows the user to control any computer program with any object. 3D pens are devices that use heated or warm plastic, extruded from the pen’s nozzle, to create three-dimensional objects.

At Lee Elementary, a STEAM grant funded a complete class set of Makey Makey STEM sets and 3Doodler Start Pens. 4th graders used Makey Makey kits and their knowledge of circuits to make controllers for a piano application. In addition, students made controllers for previously coded maze games. While 5th graders used 3Doodler pens to design bubble wands. The students then had the opportunity to test their wands bubble solution! Lee Makerspace teacher, Melissa Chambers shared how thankful she is for the STEAM grants which make it possible for “every student to have their own materials!”

“Seeing grant funds putting materials into the hands of students and especially knowing that teachers are able to give every student their own tools aligns with LAEF’s vision to provide enrichment opportunities for all students,” said Carrie Logue, LAEF’s executive director. “We could not be more grateful to our donors that understand our vision and support STEAM education.”

At Rossmoor Elementary, a STEAM grant bought Makey Makey STEM sets for their STEM Lab and the Knights already put them to good use. Rossmoor fifth-graders coded their own games and then built corresponding controllers using the Makey Makeys. Last week they completed the projects and students tried out each other’s games, while also writing feedback about what they liked best about the game and invention and also had the opportunity to make suggestions for any improvements.

“It is so fun to see the elementary students excited with STEAM,” said LAEF Donor Relations and Development Manager Lauren DeNinno. “The creativity and collaboration at Rossmoor Elementary school last week was infectious. All of the students were so proud of not only their own projects, but also those of their peers!”

To date, LAEF has donated more $530,000 to support STEAM programs and staff across Los Alamitos Unified School District.

The STEAM donations are due in large part to the support from LAEF’s major donor group, the Los Al Leadership Circle. The LALC consists of the distinguished, significant supporters of LAEF’s visionary work. Members of the LALC provide the critical donations that bring LAEF’s support of Los Al kids to the next level. To learn more about how to become a member of the LALC, visit

LAEF is the non-profit partner of Los Alamitos Unified School District. LAEF enhances educational excellence by providing after-school and summer enrichment programs to children in grades Pre-K to 12. LAEF impacts all students by providing significant funding for student mental health/wellness and STEAM instruction, as well as igniting new programs and providing valuable resources. For more information, visit or call (562) 799-4700 Extension 80424 today.