Tag Archives: STEM
As the school year winds down, students from across the country are gearing up to compete in the National Engineering Design Competition.
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.
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.
And the winner is …
Good luck to Dr. Bracey and the awesome STEMists from George Washington Carver High School.
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.
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
What’s Going On is a mobile web app that curates information about after-school and summer programs in Philadelphia.
While there are a number of databases that aggregate information about out-of-school-time programs, the information is not current. Parents and students are frustrated in their efforts to find safe, productive activities. The demand for academic enrichment programs will increase in the wake of the “doomsday” budget approved by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.
In addition to the school budget crisis, Philadelphia’s digital divide is a chasm. Nearly half of Philly households do not have access to the Internet. So, many parents and students will search for safe and productive out-of-school-time activities at the public library or Keyspot public computer center. While Internet access is free, there is a time limit. Philadelphians on the wrong side of the digital divide are not free to sit there as long as it takes to find a program.
What’s Going On is at the intersection of technology, education and civic engagement. Program providers, parents and community members are invited to submit a program. The information is verified before the program is added to Wikidelphia, Philly’s local wiki.
In recognition of our efforts to promote civic engagement, the What’s Going On team has been invited to the White House to participate in the Champions of Change event which will highlight “extraordinary leaders in transformative civic hacking and civic engagement.”
The invitation reads:
On July 23, White House officials will participate in a discussion with these Champions to learn more about extraordinary individuals who are taking innovative approaches to engage citizens and communities in the practice of open government, civic participation, and civic hacking.
As a longtime champion of civic engagement, it’s an honor to be included in the mix.