Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Semester + New Activities and Partnerships = New Excitement @ the STEAM Studio!

Einstein, who failed over and over and yet brought us so many new things.
His passion for social justice is one of my favorite things about him.

STEAM Studio Clubs and Activities start back up next week. As we continue on with the projects we developed for the STEAM Studio this past semester, I'm thrilled to share our new partnerships, new activities, and the overall new exciting things taking place in our STEAM Studio this new semester!

This week's spotlight is on...

  • Brightergy- One exciting addition to our curriculum comes from the company Brightergy. Locally owned, their headquarters are in Kansas City which they have successfully expanded to other states. I learned about them from my children's school as the school facility has taken measures to be more environmentally and economically efficient. I was impressed by their vision and looked them up only to find one of my former students, Alizabeth Reynolds, is the Brighterschools Program Manager. We will start partnering with them this semester. Ali has this to say about the curriculum:

    • BrighterClassroom is a hands-on, inquiry-based, energy education program that brings energy alive in the classroom! This curriculum is designed to educate students on topics ranging from understanding energy efficiency to discovering how a photovoltaic cell works. BrighterClassroom takes advantage of the environmental changes happening around us by turning them into learning opportunities with real, direct applicability to students’ lives. 
    • BrighterClassroom has been implemented in over 400 schools across Missouri. Our goal is to take this program beyond Brightergy clients to a national audience. We know technology is going to continue to advance in the classroom; we also know our environment is going to continue to evolve. Students need be exposed to up-to-date, enriching material and in support of that we have a vision for BrighterClassroom. We will be expanding and revamping this program into an interactive, web-based curriculum that will be engaging and exciting for all grade levels. Throughout this process our objective will stay the same: to empower teachers and students with the knowledge, tools, resources, and strategies they need to create a greener, healthier climate for years to come.

Coming up...
  • Manufacturing Education- Michele Nash-Hoff, president of ElectroFab Sales, a manufacturers' sales rep firm wrote: "The American people have a choice to make. We can either accept the continued destruction of America's industrial base and allow all the gains achieved by America's industrial workers to be wiped out to compete with Third-World labor. Or, we can choose to secure a future for American industry and our industrial workers."   Our kids are constantly consuming something, what better way to build their confidence and build a better nation by giving them opportunities to build something which will have a positive impact on our society. Emphasis will be placed on developing their manufacturing skills. Learning by doing builds confidence and connects different pathways of knowledge.

Getting dirty is fun, just ask one of my favorite men Mike Rowe!
Let's teach our kids the joy of building more and consuming less

 while using some elbow grease and grit.

  • 3D Printing- Thanks to numerous donations from private donors will be able to purchase our first 3D printer this spring.  Offering kids the opportunity to design and develop products to print out then put to use in their daily lives and the lives of others is a team effort which will be taught and facilitated in the STEAM Studio.

My man Pablo, the definition of experimentation and innovation in art... and beyond.

  • Inviting local artists in- Through the Art Department at Rockhurst University and connections through the community, local artists will be selected and invited in to share the math, science, engineering and incredibly interesting ways art can bring out not only expression, but intelligence, failure, success and creativity in many ways.

  • Robotics- We applied and have been awarded a grant from VML to purchase our first robotics kit this spring to offer an unique First Robotics program which was founded here in KC. We are extremely grateful to VML and the Rockhurst University Engineering students who will be volunteering to help facilitate this program.

Wonder woman Marie Curie.
Rejected by a university because she was a woman, first woman to win a Nobel prize in chemistry.
First person to win a Nobel prizes in chemistry and physics

  • Getting more girls into STEAM- We will begin next week by launching a STEAM Club for Girls for the first five week session. We also have formed a partnership with St. Teresa's Academy. STA girls will be coming over to volunteer and STEAM Studio will be an option for juniors and seniors to complete their capstone service project.

None of this would be possible without the support of the Rockhurst University students and faculty. Rockhurst University students volunteer their talent and time to the STEAM Studio through service learning projects. This offers real-world application and stimulating community connections to the lives of the STEAM Studio participants and to RU students.

Find some time to do something you love. If you know of a company who would love to support the STEAM Studio, or know of someone who would love to volunteer their time, please contact me. This video captures the amount of time we have to do just that.


  1. Mandi, How I wish we lived closer as my kiddos would so love to be a part of your STEAM Studio. I'm so proud of you and your work! What a huge opportunity you are providing to so many kids to be MAKERS. Here's what I wrote on the subject the other day...

  2. Thank you Amy! I appreciate you taking the time to share your encouraging words. I am happy to share back and provide any ideas, activities, curriculum you need for homeschooling. I wish you lived closer too! Loved reading your blog and excited to see the Maker movie.