Kevin Cadden is principal of Buckeye Elementary school and Bruce Olenchuk is an Intel retiree and chairman of the STEM Club at that school.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  Kevin went over some of the demographics and challenges at Buckeye Elementary:  There are 383 students in grades K-5 during the last academic year, with the following characteristics:  English learners, 30;  Foster Youth, 3; Homeless, 8; Students with disabilities, 55; Socioeconomically Disadvantaged (SED), 197.  When schools have over 40% of students classified as SED, like Buckeye, they are considered a Title 1 school and get federal support.  Title 1 funds are used to serve all children to raise academic achievement
 
Kevin met Bruce in 2013 and suggested that he form a STEM club at his school.  As an Intel retiree, Bruce was able to get Intel support to obtain his teaching credentials.  Bruce reviewed some of the areas where STEM is used in the broader economy: communications, video games, animated movies, cars, computers and tablet development, building design, energy and computer programming.  Engineering and science projects that Bruce introduced to the club members included: paper airplanes, building a harmonica, indoor slingshot, building a bucket tower, a seismic shake of structures they built, conductors and insulators, and building a hovercraft.
 
Technology and Math comes in more with the programming projects.  Using a MIT-developed block oriented programming language students are able to write code that can for example tell a robot what to do in various situations.  The math comes in when using angles and distances to define motion on a screen or by the robot.  Using a 3D printer, the students have built a table, a castle, and a labyrinth game (on a tilting table with a ball).
 
After the excellent presentation by Kevin and Bruce, our Rotarians were wishing that they had a STEM club when they were in elementary school.
 
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