Top Of The Class: Mass STEM Week Gets Kids Excited About STEM

Podcast | October 20, 2019

Under the Radar with Callie Crossley

Listen here:
https://www.wgbh.org/news/science-and-technology/2019/10/19/mass-stem-week

Most jobs these days require at least some skill in the fields of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Classes in STEM education are integrated in K-12 curriculum across the country and here in the Bay State. That’s why for the second year in a row, Massachusetts has instituted a week-long initiative aiming to get kids excited about STEM with a long term goal of building a pipeline of skilled workers ready to join the ranks of its growing STEM workforce. Mass STEM Week includes a variety of special events and activities organized by participating schools and STEM outreach organizations.

Guests:

Lisa Freed – STEM Program Manager at the Bedford-based robotics company, iRobot. Lisa is an engineer and a 2017 Women Worth Watching award winner.

Andrew Deschenes – Associate Mechanical Engineer at iRobot.

Olu Ibrahim – Founder and CEO of the Lowell-based organization, Kids in Tech, which partners with schools to provide after-class STEM activities to students ages 8-14.

How Kids in Tech Teaches Lowell-Area Children About Computer Engineering

News Article | October 12, 2019

By Rowan Walrath Staff Writer for BostInno

Traffic between Cambridge and Lowell was so bad that I nearly didn’t make it to Kids In Tech’s after-school program. By the time I arrived, just a few elementary schoolers were in the space, scattered across a wooden floor, poring over blueprints for Piper Computer Kits.

But even by 5:30 p.m. on a weekday, the enthusiasm hadn’t waned. As soon as I stepped in the door, a 9-year-old girl, wearing a giant pink bow around her small black ponytail, bounced right up to me.

“Can you help me?” she asked.

I agreed and kneeled down next to her blueprint, trying to figure out which of the many green cords tangled together in the Piper kit was the correct one to attach to the Raspberry Pi she was building. 

This girl, Frances, is one of dozens of kids who meet every two weeks at Coalition for a Better Acre in Lowell. They’re all part of Kids in Tech’s after-school program, designed to get the children of the Merrimack Valley interested in STEM, with a particular focus on computer science and engineering, while they’re still young.

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