About STEMbassadors

STEMbassadors is a California-based 501c(3) non-profit corporation founded in late 2017. The team consists of 12 highly skilled middle and high school students from Ventura, CA who want to make a difference in the way STEM technologies are integrated into our schools.

About

STEMbassasadors

Problem

There is a huge need to integrate modern, applied, "hands-on" science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fabrication skills in our K-12 public schools. Our education system is not adequately preparing, equipping, or motivating young students to be ultimately prepared for the 21st century workforce. The STEMbassadors intend to help solve this problem!

Solution

STEMbassadors is a student-managed, California 501(c)(3) company formed in 2017, comprised of 12 motivated middle and high school students with highly developed STEM “maker” skills. The STEMbassadors are partnering with industry to:

 

1) Build mobile STEM fabrication equipment, such as PC-driven CNC routers and 3D printers (our “Spark Carts”);

2) Develop custom, open-source, standards- and project-based STEM curriculum;

3) Provide free teacher training; and,

4) Donate and maintain Spark Cart equipment/technology to schools to help drive advancement of applied STEM in our K-12 education system.

Projects

Examples of projects that may be included in our initial curriculum include design and construction of model solar-powered cars, electronic instruments, clocks, etc.  We currently have more than 12 projects for which we intend to develop step-by-step instructions along with details of the STEM concepts that are applied in each. The curriculum will be expanded over time.

Products and Services

STEMbassadors provides equipment, and develops practical, standards-based curriculum for a variety of applied STEM technologies. Initial STEM “maker technologies” that we will implement at schools will include CAD-based CNC-routers, laser engravers, and 3D printers. 

Recent Results

As of July 2019, we have trained more than 25, K-12 Teachers in Ventura County and have built and donated 12 Spark Carts to area schools. As a result, more than 1,500 students have gained hands on skills using CAD and “maker” technologies. We’re opening a STEM fabrication facility were Teachers can come during the school year to develop skills and collaborate with us.

Example Classroom Projects

Examples of projects that were included in our initial curriculum include design and construction of model solar-powered cars, electronic instruments, clocks, gear projects, geometric bowls, and others. We currently have more than 20 projects for which we’ve developed step-by-step instructions along with details of the STEM concepts that are applied in each. The curriculum is being expanded over time.

Products and Services

STEMbassadors builds and donates equipment (our Spark Carts), and develops practical, standards-based curriculum for a variety of applied STEM technologies. Spark Carts built and donated to date have included include CAD-based CNC-routers and 3D printers. In the future we will integrate laser engravers and plasma cutters.

In 2018 and 2019 we designed and assembled a dozen “Spark Carts,” compact, durable, versatile and mobile maker technology stations. We’ve designed and equipped each spark cart with a CNC router and/or a 3D printer, along with other parts and materials required for effective and safe operation in any classroom. Each spark cart also includes a laptop computer loaded with applicable software applications.

Prior to delivering the spark carts to a school, we’ve hosted a 3-day training workshop for the teachers that “champion” the spark carts at their respective schools. The workshops walk the instructors through our  projects which they then take back to their schools for implementation. We also provide motivation and give them ideas for how to create their own projects. We instruct them on basic equipment maintenance and trouble-shooting techniques. Lastly, through the course of the year if teachers experience malfunctions with the Spark Cart equipment or difficulties with projects, the STEMbassadors will be on call to assist with a remedy!

Additionally, each year we develop new standards- and project-based lesson plans intended for teachers to implement in their classes over the course of one year using the spark cart. The Spark Cart are “loaned” cost-free to selected teachers/schools for one year, assuming project implementation targets, which we will develop and monitor, are achieved. Media and materials required to complete each project will also be provided.

After our first two years of operation and success, our products and services are expanding to include a wider variety of maker technologies, and we are further developing associated standards-based STEM project curriculum to accompany these technologies. In the next 2 years we hope that >10,000 K-12 students will have gained experience with our fabrication equipment and STEM projects.

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