STEM plays a major role in the world of education these days. Schools want to give their students all the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math experience they can, but, all too often, Philadelphia students don’t get the STEM learning opportunities that their peers do.
A group of high school students from Unionville High School in Kennett Square knew that a lot of Philly elementary and middle students don’t have the same access to STEM technology and lessons that they did, and they set out to do something about it.
Last year, three Unionville students came to S. Weir Mitchell, a K-8 school in Southwest Philadelphia, and ran their own “STEMinar” for students in grades 4-6. Each student brought their own specialty, and the Mitchell kids broke up into three groups, rotating to each of the three workshops: robotics, electricity, and computer programming.
Students had the chance to build their own miniature robots, work with special circuit boards, and learn the basics of coding and how it helps create the games they play on their phones.
This year, the Unionville students brought their STEM workshops to two more Delaware Valley Fairness Project
partner schools: John Welsh and Penrose. This time, the volunteer group had grown, and there were even more high schoolers on hand to teach STEM concepts to the younger students, who were quickly entranced by what they were learning and building.
At the end of the sessions, the STEMinar leaders donated the supplies to the schools, so that students can continue to explore robotics, electricity, and coding moving forward. The Unionville volunteers even created their own website that students can go back to for more lessons and educational STEM games!