Sowing the STEM Seeds Project
STEM For All strives to create excitement among young children to build an entire science center, consisting of 90 small exhibits and ten major exhibits. Building five major exhibits was the original version of the project. Extended version includes building at least 90 small exhibits. We will guide local students to build these. This will inspire other students and make parents proud of their children who built these.
To build 5 major exhibits and 90+ small exhibits built by local school students and placed in MSU Planetarium, Impression 5, CADL and schools. Complete the project by December 2018 with staggered inauguration at various locations.
Following are the five major exhibits we have planned to build.
1) Open Air Orrery is a scale model of the solar system placed in a large open ground, where the planets will be placed at their scale distances and positions calculated by students (using the same software used by NASA and professional astronomers). Students will move the planets periodically. This project will not just create Armchair Astronomers, but physically active and healthy young astronomers who can see the stars in broad daylight.
2) Galileo's Feather demonstrates that gravity pulls all objects equally.
3) Interactive Statistics Sculpture shows a statistics principle (Normal Distribution)
4) Neutron Star Merger demonstrates conservation of angular momentum and leads the audience to the recent observation of gravity waves and kilo nova event caused by the merger of neutron stars.
5) Levitation gives the illusion of defying gravity.
90+ small exhibits will be similar to what STEM For All students have built in the past 18 months and exhibited at MSU Science Festival, Lansing Community College, Capital Area District Libraries and several schools in Okemos ad East Lansing. There will be several new areas of science and math covered by these exhibits.
What Kind of Science Center Are We Building?
Imagine a Science Center
where YOU can
See an Exhibit,
Play with it,
Experiment with it,
Break it (accidentally),
Make a Replica and Take it Home
Here, you will not only be inspired, YOU will inspire others.
YOU can be a student who will be building the entire science center.
Can School Students Really Build an Entire Science Center? In Just Six Months?
We are dreaming big and attempting to do what will make the entire community very proud. We are looking for students with the CAN DO attitude. We are shooting for the stars. If we can achieve only part of the goals, it will still be like landing on the moon. As an example, to the best of my knowledge, the Open Air Orrery will be the first of its kind in the world. The low cost exhibits we build will make it easy for a lot of schools to participate in Science Olympiad, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Competition, etc. (Currently not many schools have the budget to participate in these events.) Give your school students a chance to be part of this journey.
What is the timeline and plan for implementation?
July 2018: Complete preliminary design for all 5 major exhibits; Begin summer sessions for students; Complete at least 25 small exhibits
August through September: Complete prototypes for all 5 major exhibits; Continue summer sessions for students; Complete at least 75 small exhibits.
October: Complete final versions of major exhibits; Continue sessions for students based on school calendar; Complete all 90+ small exhibits;
November: Installations and inaugurations at various locations (Impression 5, Libraries, Planetarium, LCC, schools) Inaugurations may be staggered.
December: Buffer for unforeseen situations
How will you know if the project is a success?
Building an exhibit worthy of being placed at Impression 5 or MSU Planetarium itself is a success. Building five of them and by local school students can be considered a grand success.
Still, the following metrics will be used to measure success: Acceptance at MSU, Impression 5, CADL, Schools
Number of students involved in the design and construction (Target 100+)
Positive feedback from involved students (>85% ), parents (>85%), visitors (>85%) Better attendance at I5, MSU, CADL, Planetarium (as measured by these organizations)
Founder of STEM For All is committed to completing this project by December 2018 even if it demands self-funding. At the same time, this idea can sustain only if local students and our community OWN it.
In 2017, without any major grants, STEM For All benefited more than 1,000 students and collaborated with Okemos and East Lansing schools, Impression 5, Capital Area District Libraries, LCC and MSU.
In 2018, by early April, we have already exceeded last year's measures. STEM For All has been included as a presenter at MSU Science Festival. We have completed six STEM events so far and more than 1,200 students have benefited.
Our activities have been very popular and attracted quite a crowd. We have received letters of support from several STEM/educational institutions. Momentum we have gained will be multiplied by your support and help us expand our services to less served schools in Metro Lansing. Our exhibits can be replicated by other schools and organizations. Our focus on low cost with high learning potential will help all area schools and organizations. Schools that do not yet participate in Science Olympiads, Odyssey of the Mind, Robotics Competitions, etc., can see a low-cost way to introduce those activities. Students will obtain self-confidence, CAN DO attitude, and higher grades. There will be more attendance at Impression 5, libraries and Planetarium.
Student Coaching Sessions:
Two-hour coaching sessions start from Monday, July 9, 2018 on several STEM topics.
Two sessions every day from 9 AM to 11 AM and from 2 PM to 4 PM, Monday through Thursday.
Sessions will be at STEM For All (2859 Jolly Road, Okemos, MI 48864; Opposite Okemos High School)
Schedule will be adjusted after we obtain feedback from parents and students.
Students sign up for two two-hour sessions. First session is for introducing a STEM topic and to assign homework. Students will not be building exhibits in the class. Parents are encouraged to work with their students at home to work on the homework and to build the exhibits. Second session is to show their work to us and other young scientists. We will have at least one event every month where completed exhibits will be showcased. These events are open to the public and fully free.
Fees for two two-hour sessions will be $25.
We are looking for people who are already sold on this idea. We suggest that you try one session and if you find it is not for you, please consider the fee as a donation. With the very tight deadline, we do not want to spend any time or effort on processing refunds. Our schedule is also very flexible, two two-hour sessions, to account for your summer plans. You can also visit any of the free STEM For All events that are open to the public and then decide.
Most activities in the classroom are interactive, but do not involve actual building of the exhibits. We introduce a STEM topic, exchange ideas, provide guidelines in building a few exhibits, and provide safety tips. Students work with parents and build the exhibits at home. It will be up to the parents to decide if something is appropriate or not for their students. It is okay for parents to help with any steps. We hope most of the work is done by the students, with adult supervision.
We intend to take photos and videos for educational and promotional purposes. Students will be presenting the exhibits at public places, including outdoors. Exhibits will have labels crediting the students who built them. Public and media may take photos and videos of the exhibits and the student presenters. By signing up your student, you agree to all the above. If you have special restrictions, we will try to accommodate as much as we can. We will never share your contact info or your student info with anyone.