The Sports Diplomacy Division of the United States Department of State has approached the San Francisco 49ers Foundation’s 49ers EDU program and its executive Jesse Lovejoy to be a part of its delegation to Fiji to convey the organization’s mission to make ever-strengthening ties between the United States and other countries through sport.
Rosy Akbar, Fiji’s Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, publicly recognized the urge to introduce STEAM education in primary school education because of shortage of skills in particular work fields across the island. Utilizing the institutional knowledge of and programming parts from 49ers EDU, Lovejoy has been assigned the task of bringing STEAM based education plans to the Island in order to give teachers and students a good understanding of STEAM education through sports such as rugby, american football and volleyball. American indoor volleyball player and Olympic gold medalist Danielle Scott-Arruda will be Joining Lovejoy as a U.S. State Department Sports Envoy on the trip to Fiji.
Lovejoy said, “It is an incredible honor and extremely humbling that the United States government would include 49ers EDU in its mission to leverage sports to make a positive impact on people abroad.” He added, “Our STEAM-focused learning approaches were designed to fluidly adapt to different audiences, regions and sports, so we’re eager to connect with Fijian children and teachers in a way that’s relevant, compelling and exciting for them. Opportunities like this would not be possible without the support of Dr. John York and the York family and their constant encouragement to make education accessible for all throughout the Bay Area and beyond.”
Lovejoy will work with the U.S. Embassy in Fiji, as well as local primary, secondary and collegiate instructors to find new ways to deal with including project-based learning and the engineering design process to their education plans using sports as the driving force. With creativity and a cross-disciplinary methodology, Lovejoy intends to present instructors how STEAM can be integrated into virtually in any lecture plan. Once connected with the Fijian educators, Lovejoy will visit to multiple local schools providing these education plans to beta test them, enhance them and encourage the instructors in their continued development and adoption.