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For Good

Local STEM Bicycle Clubs gain momentum in fourth year

Bicycles are set up for a STEM meeting.


Students at 12 local schools will receive 160 bicycles this week, which they will learn to disassemble and reengineer — eventually ending up with a finished product and a new mode of transportation.
 
The project — initially debuted at Woodward Career Technical High School — is now in its fourth year. It has grown significantly over the years, and is a huge success, says Mary Adams, project manager of the Greater Cincinnati STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Collaborative — the nonprofit organizer of GCSC Bicycle Clubs.
 
“Twelve clubs means that in year four, we are reaching more kids, getting them engaged, making learning fun and creating an impact,” Adams says. "That impact, repeated in data and heard last week during the professional development training for club leaders, is that STEM Bicycle Clubs give kids experiences that build confidence and get them to think about career possibilities they didn’t even know exist.”
According to Woodward’s Resource Coordinator Casey Fisher, students tend to have “tunnel vision,” thinking the only STEM careers out there are in the medical fields — doctors and nurses.
 
Through her three years of experience as a Bicycle Club project leader, Fisher has witnessed first-hand the direct impact mentors, including those from GE, have had on students’ lives.
 
“[Students were] shy, not as social, reserved and intimidated at first,” Fisher says. “By midway, these kids were engaged, asking questions without prompts, learning how to be a family and relating to science, technology, engineering and math.” 

Do Good: 

•    Learn more about the GCSC by connecting with the nonprofit on Facebook.

•    With more support, the GCSC can continue to expand its Bicycle Clubs, reaching even more students. Support the GCSC today.

•    The GCSC is accepting applications for its Summer of STEM 2017 mini-grants through Feb. 17. Learn more, and apply today.
 

Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a professor of English composition at both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University. She serves as project manager for Charitable Words and edits the For Good section of Soapbox Media. 
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