MSTi gets Everett youth excited about science once again!
I recently spent an afternoon at the Everett Boys & Girls Club which is specifically for teenagers 13-19 years old. It was the final presentation that the STEM Squad was making to the group before taking the lessons into action next semester. Let me explain a little more, the STEM Squad is just one part of our Math, Science & Technology initative (MSTi). For more info on MSTI, click here. The STEM Squad is a mentoring program in which teens co-teach lessons to kindergarteners and first graders. I got to observe a group of about 13 teens between the ages of 15 and 17 years old present their lesson to the rest of the group. Also part of the audience was Chile Eng, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County, Dana Benjamin, Program & Operations Manager, Andrew Barrett, staff member at Everett, Mike Mangan from the Board of Aldermen for the City of Everett and Kristin Pineo, MSTi guru extraordinaire.
I have fallen in love with this program because of these teenagers. From the moment they walked in the door, I was impressed. Each one of them came in, shook my hand and introduced themselves to me. I know that when I was 16 or so, I did not have the confidence, courage or decency to shake an adult's hand and introduce myself.
Next, in pairs, the teens read a short story from the Quirkles program. Quirkles integrates literacy and science through 26 lessons and hands-on experiments for young learners. Each of the stories represents a letter of the alphabet, for example Yawning Yolanda or Colorful Caroline. These books take alliteration to a whole different level. Again, I was impressed that these young people read stories about Nosey Nina and her friend Ned Newfoundland nibbling on nine bowls of noodles. Not only was it a tongue twister, but the teens took the time to explain words that might be confusing to the younger children. After reading the stories, the teens performed science experiments designed for 6 and 7 year old children. Such fun! To wrap up each presentation, Kristin asked for two highlights from the audience. This was another engaging piece for the group to think about what worked well for when they do the real thing next semester.
All in all, I left the B&G Club feeling energized and excited. I was happy that I get to promote such an amazing program to companies in and around Boston. I was happy that these teens were excited to mentor young children. I was happy that it was such a positive experience for all those involved. I look forward to hearing the success stories of the STEM Squad this spring and hope to share them with all of you.