Welcome to STEMrev!
STEMrev was founded in 2016 by an engineer and an educator with the purpose of bringing to life the adventure and possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math for middle school aged kids – specifically kids who might not otherwise be given the opportunity to explore these disciplines and discover the possibilities of further education and careers in STEM. With a strong desire to “payback and pay forward” the encouragement and opportunities they had received in their teenage years as well as identifying a need for this type of program for middle school age kids, the founders developed the STEMrev concept with input from kids and their parents. The founders knew, that above all else, the projects needed to be HANDS ON, FUN and ENGAGING in order to capture the imaginations of middle school age kids.
Learning By Doing
From building mousetrap cars with gears to hydraulic lifts built out of Popsicle sticks to taking apart old electronics to see what is inside, each semester provides kids 12 to 15 years of age with 13 weeks of after school STEM projects in relaxed, social setting. Through the projects, STEMrev kids also gain skills in collaboration with other kids as many projects involve working in teams or sharing resources. Adult mentoring is also a large part of this program. STEMrev volunteer mentors bring guidance and knowledge, encouraging the kids that it is “OK to try, fail and try again.”
STEMrev completed its pilot semester for the Spring of 2017 with funding and administrative support from St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and audience development support from Boulder Housing Partners (BHP). STEMrev programs were held weekly at BHP’s Diagonal Court Community Center. This location made it very convenient for kids to participate in the program – sometimes with younger siblings in tow. Each week, five to 10 kids participated in the activities with many of the kids coming every week. The program served an equal number of boys and girls and was highly successful in creating a culture of equality across gender, background and age. Due to the success of the pilot program, BHP has asked STEMrev to add a program at a second community center, thus opening up the STEMrev program to even more kids in the Boulder, Colorado area. STEMrev has incorporated as a Colorado non-profit and received its own 501(c)3 designation from the IRS. While St. Paul’s United Methodist Church continues to be a sponsor of STEMrev, the now independent organization is eager to grow and impact more kids with the possibilities of STEM and support them in their educational journey.