This blog post was written by Daniel Bergmann, a HealthCorps member here at CHC who works with Nicole Elliott, another HealthCorps Member and Program Coordinator at the Family Wellness Center (FWC) to facilitate the STEM Club.
Everyone was holding their breath, leaning in to get a closer look. Some leaned in a little too close.
“Guys! Stop shaking the table!”
There could be no room for error in this delicate operation. Fifty pennies were about to be dropped – all at once – into a paper dixie cup perched atop a bridge made only of straw, tape, and string. The roll was lowered into position. Some of the straws began to bend. Tape crinkled at the seams. But the bridge held, and the room exploded into cheers.
The physics of bridge building was just the starting point for CHC’s new after-school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) club known as “Mini-Makers.” Run out of the Middletown Family Wellness Center, this brand-new program centers around hands-on projects for kids ages 9 and up with the ultimate goal of getting them interested in scientific fields and how it relates to the creative process.
In addition to their time spent in the Family Wellness Center, these Mini-Makers have access to CHC’s brand-new App Lab, giving them the opportunity to engage with technology in a deeply creative way. In their first session at the App Lab, the kids met “Kobe” (CHC’s telepresence robot), made music on a Theremin, and learned the basics of 3D printing. Future meetings at the App Lab are expected to cover 3D modeling for 3D printing, basic programming skills, and developing Android apps for use at home.
The next meeting of the Mini-Makers STEM Club is happening on April 14th, from 4-5pm, at the Middletown Family Wellness Center (635 Main Street). Mini-Makers meets twice a month, please visit FamilyWellnessCenter.weebly.com for details.