Thanks to a pilot program, a hands on STEM program reaches thousands of students in Newark, NJ.

More Chances for Outdoor Learning When Teachers CollaborateA typical problem was posed to seventh graders in the Ridge Street School – how to build a colony on the Moon.  That is a problem that the most experienced scientists are still grappling with.

Seventh graders began designing purifiers with cotton balls, coffee filters, sand and their ideas, with the idea that the purifiers could clean contaminated water on the moon. They built model astronaut suits with mini marshmallows.

This is all part of the first STEM week in Newark Public Schools. Teachers at 26 middle schools stopped their regular science activities in favor of a hands on curriculum which is based on engineering developed by MIT and the STEM organization i2 Learning.

Over 2,000 students participated.

“Our focus has basically been urban environments,”said Ethan Berman, founder of i2 Learning. “Kids who don’t usually have exposure to many of these things.”

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