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Philly ‘STEMists’ Head to National Competition

15 Jun

As the school year winds down, students from across the country are gearing up to compete in the National Engineering Design Competition.

MESA Design Competition - 6.15.15

In April, I attended the MESA Day Prosthetic Arm Competition organized by Dr. Jamie Bracey, director of STEM Education, Outreach and Research at Temple University. Dr. Bracey leads Pennsylvania Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA).

Teams of “STEMists” from seven high schools – Abraham Lincoln, Edison, Frankford, G.W. Carver, High School of the Future, Hill-Freeman World Academy and Penn Wood – competed for an all-expenses-paid trip to Utah to represent Pennsylvania in the national competition. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Their challenge was to design and build a low-cost prosthetic arm suitable for an urban environment.

The day began with inspiring keynote remarks by Ken Scott, an electrical engineer, who shared how he got started in engineering.

MESA - Ken Scott - 6.15.15

Scott said:

A lot of it is curiosity. If you like solving problem, engineering is for you. No one is better at solving problems than engineers. It’s about having the initiative to do different things. … Engineers rule the world. Everything starts with engineering.

The teams were judged on a number of tasks, distance accuracy, object relocation and dexterity, design efficiency, technical paper and academic poster presentation.

MESA Judges - 6.15.15

And the winner is …

MESA - 1st Place - 6.15.15

Good luck to Dr. Bracey and the awesome STEMists from George Washington Carver High School.


On Social Media, It’s Always ‘Ladies’ Night’

24 Mar

A new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that women rule social media. Women were five to 10 percent more likely to use social networking sites compared to men.

But not all social networks are created equal. According to data compiled by Alex Hillsberg.

Most Popular Social Media Sites Like Tumblr Or Pinterest Owe Their Financial Success To Women

So if you hear any noise on Facebook, “it ain’t the boys, it’s ladies night.”


The Global Innovation Index 2013

3 Mar


African Americans and Technology Use

13 Jan

African Americans and Technology Use

Read Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project’s report: African Americans and Technology

Trends in Civic Tech

16 Dec

Dr. Jamie Bracey: Walking the STEM Talk

4 Nov

A lot of people talk about the need to broaden the funnel of youth who pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. Fact is, the changing demographics make it an economic imperative.

Dr. Jamie Bracey, director of STEM Education, Outreach and Research at Temple University, walks the talk.

Jamie Bracey

Dr. Bracey leads Pennsylvania MESA, an initiative that is “designed to prepare students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science, and technology.” She says the key to STEM success is OTL and MTP.


Dr. Bracey’s success in seeding the STEM pipeline is recognized in the September issue of Black Enterprise:

Pennsylvania MESA is equipping middle and high school students with the tools they need to compete in the global market.

Read more: Unlocking Innovation in Teens