IBM's Fall semester team has started at Scotlandville Middle Pre-Engineering Academy, where they will be teaching a lesson on invasive species and Scratch computer coding. The students are eager to learn the science and technology aspects of the lessons, and to learn more about the jobs and work done by individual members of the IBM team.
BREC and key partner, Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System, wrapped up a successful eight-week “STEM Lab” at Tom “Pete” Purvis Park recently. Designed to curb effects of summer learning loss and to increase interest in STEM topics and careers, BREC campers were emp
At final count the Lab received just over 2,400 visitors from BREC summer camp locations, as well as Boys and Girls Clubs and Big Buddy camps, attended the STEM Lab up to one to three times. Staffing for the STEM Lab was made possible through an AmeriCorps VISTA grant and ExxonMobil. Sixteen AmeriCorps VISTA members were recruited to facilitate the eight-week Lab and ExxonMobil Summer Internship program provided funding for an intern to manage the day-to-activities at the Lab. Training, lessons, and materials were provided by STEMup Baton Rouge and BREC. A special thanks also goes out to IBM, who served as volunteer mentors on Fridays.owered to apply science and math skills gained during the school year to real world engineering challenges. All projects offered campers cool opportunities to act like an engineer to solve problems in the world in which they live - from building a water filtration system to designing a simple machine to move a 3 pound bag of potatoes. As teams of campers tirelessly worked through one engineering challenge after another, they gained confidence in skills such as problem solving, teamwork, communication and creative thinking skills.
May 4th, 2016 - Baton Rouge, LA
Team IBM completed their semester long mentoring session at McKinley Middle. The lesson was on Urban Design, Pollution, and Water Runoff. Students designed model cities that could withstand damage and pollution without reaching the city's water. The project was messy educational fun! Congrats to the IBM team and the students at McKinley Middle!
Team Trace Security - Glasgow Showcase
April 21, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Today, Team Trace Security completed their semester long STEM mentor session at Glasgow Middle. The lesson was on aerospace engineering and featured lessons on rockets, landing pads, force, and motion. Students designed and improved their rockets today and launched them for their final showcase. It was out of this world! Congrats to all the students and thank you to Glasgow and our Trace Security team!
More photos below:
Team Innophos - McKinley Showcase
April 20, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Today, Team Innophos completed their semester long mentor session at McKinley Middle Magnet. For their final project and showcase, students designed moon landing pads. The pads were dropped from the first and second tier of their stairwell, and their marshmallow astronaut passengers had to survive the landing without falling out! This was a great amount of fun, and the students were all very successful and diverse with their designs. Thank you to our Innophos team and McKinley Middle for helping us with this project!
More photos below:
Sherwood Forest Students Place Third in DEQ Envirothon
(Front): Caleb Moore, Angel Nguyen, Abby Debenport
(Back) Mehran (Max) Bhuiyan, Mitchell Bellan, Sara Moore, & Peter Franz.
April 16, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - This weekend a team of 5 students, including Angel Nguyen, Abby Debenport, Max Bhuiyan, Mitchell Bellan, and Peter Franz, from Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School competed in the 2016 DEQ Envirothon hosted at the LSU AgCenter Botanic Gardens. The Louisiana Envirothon is an environmental problem-solving competition for students in grades 6-12. Teams train and compete by demonstrating their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management. The competition focuses on five natural resource areas: soils and land use, aquatic resources, forestry, wildlife, and a current environmental issue. The 2016 current environmental issue is Invasive Species: A Challenge to the Environment, Economy And Society. Teams also present a solution to an environmental problem related to the current issue in an oral presentation.
The Sherwood team was originally selected to be sponsored from a pre-event, Engineer IT 2015, sponsored by LA-WIT and STEMup BR. The team was then mentored by Sara Moore, an environmental engineer from CK-Associates, and Kristen Reeves, Executive Director of LA-WIT. The Sherwood Middle team placed third in the Envirothon, and was the first middle school team to ever place in the competition. Louisiana High School for Math and Science placed second, and Baton Rouge Magnet High placed first.
Congratulations to all of the students! And thank you to the Sherwood mentors and teacher, Mrs. Self. This was a great event put on by the DEQ, LSU, and their sponsors.
Team ExxonMobil Launches at Scotlandville!
April 4, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Team ExxonMobil launched their mentor session at Scontlandville Middle! The team will be leading a lesson on engineering bioplastics at the pre-engineering academy. Their first lesson was to engineer and write a recipe for bouncy balls. The students had a blast and took their first step to creating plastics from everyday materials!
More photos below:
Team LED Capitol Showcase
March 23, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Team LED completed their 6 session mentor lesson today at Capitol Middle School and held their showcase. Students have been working on designing and building racers out of recycled materials for the semester. Today, they had the opportunity to share and explain their design choices and race each other on a track they all built. Great time and great lesson on green engineering!
More photos below:
McKinley Middle Update - Team IBM
March 10, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Team IBM has been leading a lesson on green design/city planning/ and runoff in Mrs. Cartwright's class at McKinley Middle School. In this projects, students are learning about how runoff occurs and the negative effects, such as erosion and pollution making its way into main water supplies. Students have "polluted" a model city and simulated the effects of rain to see how pollutants can travel and contaminate a local river. Next, students have moved on to start engineering solutions. The first solution they have created is green roofs. The green roof is a concept where rain will be absorbed into plants planted on flat roofs, to prevent rain from sliding off a roof and into the street, contributing to runoff. The students build their own building models and designed their own green roofs using dirt, gravel, and moss. They then tested their designs.
Great ideas and unique solutions! See below for more photos:
IT Girls 3.0
February 26, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Today, LaWIT and STEMup put on the IT Girls 3.0 event hosted at Baton Rouge Community College.
The event is geared to East Baton Rouge Parish Middle School girls, in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, and provides an opportunity for female students to learn computer coding used in game and app design from local IT professionals. This programming falls during National Engineers Week (February 21-27), founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers to increase interest and understanding in engineering and technology careers. The event is co-sponsored by Louisiana Women in Technology (LaWIT), the Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System (EBRSS), and STEMup Baton Rouge, with IBM, Louisiana Technology Park, Geocent, Sparkhound, Costco, Whole Foods, Bet-R Grocery, and Best Buy.
The goal of the event is to increase student interest in STEM and preparedness for the STEM workforce and Louisiana’s knowledge economy. Mentored by a local IT professionals, female students will have a unique opportunity to actively explore and gain greater insight into the high-demand field of computer programming. LaWIT prides itself as a conduit between students and professionals, emphasizing the need for our next generation to pursue and master STEM careers. With the resources of the professional community behind it, LaWIT aims to raise awareness so that young women feel empowered to pursue a challenging, creative, and fulfilling career path.
“This event has doubled in size since the pilot program in 2014. We've had tremendous support from the community and I'm very appreciative of the 30 volunteers that are taking the time to help with this event,” says Kristen Reeves, executive director of LaWIT and senior systems administrator at Geocent. “The only way that we can make IT Girls happen is by the continued dedication from our members and the companies in the local community that believe in our mission.”
“This event will give girls an introduction to creative computing with Scratch and App Inventor, MIT developed programming tools,” says Kim Fossey, program director for STEMup Baton Rouge, an initiative of the Foundation for EBRSS. “The lesson, which will result in a game developed by the students and a phone app, will emphasize the knowledge and practices they they will need to create different types of media they use in their everyday lives.”
More photos below:
Rails Girls BR 2016
February 20, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Rails Girls BR took place this Friday 19th and Saturday 20th at the Louisiana Technology Park. The event is part of a larger global program aimed to give women the tools to build their own ideas through computer programming and become a larger force in the computer science and IT industry. The program was founded by Linda Liukas and Karri Saarinen. The first event, held in Helsinki in November 2010, got over 100 interested girls signed-up for the workshop. Since then the free events have expanded to Shanghai, Singapore, Tallinn, Berlin, Krakow and now here in Baton Rouge attracting thousands of girls to the world of web building. Rails Girls aims to open up technology and make it more approachable for girls and women. The weekend event was free and open to all enthusiastic girls and women. Rails for Girls wants to empower girls to build the capacity and acquire the tools to conquer the last online frontier.
Participants were introduced to basic computer programming and coding principles and the Ruby on Rails programming model.
We would like to thank this year's sponsors of the Rails Girls BR event: The Louisiana Technology Park, Louisiana Women in Technology,The Foundation for East Baton Rouge School System, STEMup Baton Rouge, The Futures Fund, IBM, Health Engagements, InfiniEdge Software, Dr. Sarah Davis, and Slash.
This event was a great success and a lot of fun for all the volunteers and participants!
More photos below:
Team IBM Launches at McKinley Middle
February 18, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Today Team IBM took on their 3rd classroom in the STEMup BR multisession mentoring program! Congrats to this wonderful and enthusiastic group of volunteers! IBM is now volunteering at Mckinley Middle School in Mrs. Cartwright's 7th grade science class. The team will be leading a lesson on runoff and pollution, and how to better design cities through environmental engineering. For the first lesson today, the students constructed towers (and condos) to help provide shelter for animals. The students did this with notecards, tape, and scissors. The designs were all great and unique! Next session, the team will begin leading the lesson on how to better design cities to prevent runoff. Another successful day!
Broadmoor Science Night is a BLAST!
February 18, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Broadmoor Middle School held its annual Science Night this Thursday evening. The event featured a variety of booths set up by different organizations with a fun assortment of science projects and experiments for the middle school students and their families. STEMup BR set up a booth where students could design, engineer, and test marshmallow sling shots. This lesson taught principles of force, motion, and the importance of trying again and experimenting in the engineering design process. Kids had a blast building their own slingshots and testing them by shooting at different targets. A great and successful night for Broadmoor Middle!
More photos below:
New Team Launches at McKinley
Februrary 11, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - A new STEMup Team of engineering and teaching professionals 'launched' their mentor project on rocketry at McKinely Middle School. For this lesson, the team will lead students in building rockets, rovers, and landing mechanisms. The lesson will explore force, gravity, and the field of aerospace engineering. Today, students were introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. Their first lesson was to construct a tower to support an 'astronaut.' Students were successful and eager to improve their designs and continue. Stay tuned for the countdown to takeoff!
More photos below:
Trace Security Commences Rocket Project at Glasgow
Februrary 4, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Team Trace Security 'launched' their mentor project on rocketry at Glasgow Middle School. Trace Security is returning for their second mentor session at Glasgow in Ms. Rosaya's class, last semester they volunteered with Mrs. Rodrigue's class. This lesson, the team will lead students in building rockets, rovers, and landing mechanisms. The lesson will explore force, gravity, and the field of aerospace engineering. Today, students were introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. Their first lesson was to construct a tower to support an 'astronaut.' Students were successful and eager to improve their designs and continue. Stay tuned for the countdown to takeoff!
More photos below:
Capitol Update - Racetrack Construction
January 20, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - Team LED continued their mentor session at Capitol Middle School. Today, the team led the students in creating racetrack sections for their cars to race on. Each group built their own section with creative obstacles and terrain, and all the tracks will be joined together for showcase day. In addition, students worked on improving and testing their cars on the tracks.
See below for more pictures from the day:
STEMup Best Practice Luncheon
Pictured above: EBR middle school teachers and community mentors
January 15, 2016 —Baton Rouge, LA - On Friday, January 15th, STEMup Baton Rouge held their Best Practice Luncheon at the Main EBR Public Library at Goodwood. The Best Practice Luncheon was held as a chance for mentors, teachers, and program sponsors to come together and discuss the work done in the Fall 2015 semester for the middle school STEM mentoring program. Mentor teams from TraceSecurity, CISCO, Our Lady of the Lake College, La-WIT, IBM, Sparkhound, Louisiana Technology Park, and Louisiana Economic Development were represented as well as eight EBR middle schools. In addition, the event also received sponsorship from IBM.
The luncheon provided an opportunity to share program results, as well as a group discussion about what worked and what needed improvement in the program. There was even an opportunity to hear student voice with a screening of this video.
This was a great opportunity to share what we all learned about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and what we can do better this semester in teaching STEM skills to our students to prepare them for a better future.
More photos below:
STEMup Guiding Coalition
Kim Fossey, STEMup Program Manager
Ted Firnberg, Foundation for EBR School System President
Capitol Update - Scrapyard Salvage
January 13, 2015 —Baton Rouge, LA - Team LED returned to Capitol Middle School for the Spring 2016 semester! Today was the first day of STEMup BR mentoring in the new year. For this session, Team LED picked up where they left off on the green engineering, recycled racers project. Students visited the "scrapyard" to budget for materials to create their recycled race car. Students chose from recycled bottles, boxes, CDs, and more. They then began sketching and designing the first models of their racers. Great lesson and a great first day back for STEMup!
Check out more photos below!
Glasgow Showcase - Bionic Arm
December 15, 2015 —Baton Rouge, LA - Team Trace Security wrapped up their mentor session at Glasgow Middle School. For their project, they led the students in designing and building a bionic arm. The arm was constructed out of wood and was powered by a hydraulic system. The students also engineered a circuit system, that would trigger a buzzer to go off when the arm touched something.
Congrats to all the students and mentors on a job well done! More photos below.