STEMbassador Kids Kick off STEM Workshop Series with Ventura teachers

Teachers, STEMbassadors students and Alex Wulff love what they are doing.

Beginning Monday, June 18, 2018 STEMbassadors taught a 3-day workshop to train 16 teachers from several Ventura County schools ( De Anza Academy of Technology and the Arts (DATA), Junipero Serra elementary school, Rio and Elmhurst elementary, along with Oxnard elementary school ) in the use of their CNC router “spark carts.”

The spark carts were designed and constructed by the STEMbassadors and include mobile CNC routers, laptops, dust collection, and materials.  This workshop was taught by the STEMbassadors crew, comprised of eight Ventura students in grades 8th-10th and led by their STEM elective teacher, Alex Wulff, from DATA.

The teachers attending the training workshop were instructed on safety, operation and trouble-shooting of the CNC mills, and guided through a number of standards and project-based classroom lessons.  Teachers will use these lessons to teach Ventura County elementary and middle schoolers about STEM technologies, such as CAD skills, in a fun and hands-on way. Now that the teachers have received the necessary training, STEMbassadors will donate one spark cart (each valued at $5000) to each of the participating schools, which will be used in classrooms during the 2018/19 school year.

STEMbassadors is a Ventura, non-profit company comprised of 8 highly motivated high school and middle school students who are having a direct impact on STEM education in K-12 classrooms in Ventura County.  The company was recently awarded 1st place in the Ventura County New Venture Challenge and was featured on KCLU radio in a piece by Lance Orozco on June 19, 2018.

STEMbassadors’ mission is to enhance the education of K-12 students by providing and engaging them with applied, state-of-the-art STEM materials, curriculum and skills, and to create opportunities for them to share their acquired knowledge with others.

Student interest and expertise in highly desirable STEM skills and technologies often outpaces the rate at which these technologies and skills are integrated into our public-school system. Teacher credential programs, and most undergraduate programs, lack suitable training for teachers on how to integrate and maintain STEM technologies within a classroom setting. The vast majority of students receive either limited or no exposure to highly engaging and relevant tools. The few students who are fortunate enough to receive exposure to applied STEM technologies find their skill sets evaporating as they progress through the school system, since they have limited opportunities to apply and expand their knowledge and expertise.

For further information contact: Alex Wulff: alex.wulff@venturausd.org or (805)746-2960.

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