BmoreSTEM Website Updated

A cohort of Towson University seniors majoring in Information Technology spent the fall semester working on a capstone project for us.  The project added content and functionality to the BmoreSTEM website. The first enhancement was to revise the look and feel of the website to:

  • Create a more professional appearance
  • Enhance consistency across pages
  • Make it easier to maintain.

 

The second enhancement was to provide additional detail about the efforts of each of our active workgroups. Finally, the team worked to define requirements for the website to better meet the needs of parents in the Baltimore City community.  The team hosted two focus group meetings with representative parents. As a result, the team developed BETA versions of two features.  On feature is a repository (searchable database) of STEM offerings in the city.  When finished, this repository will summarize local:

  • After-school and summer STEM programs
  • STEM Attractions (such as museums and zoos)
  • Upcoming STEM Events

 

The other new feature was a curated list of weblinks to aid parents in guiding their children on their exploration of STEM occupations. The purpose of providing these resources is to help parents to inspire an interest in STEM, to help communicate the variety of STEM and STEM-related job opportunities that exist, and to share strategies for preparing for such jobs.

The website committee is looking for STEM professions to volunteer as advisors to vet these resources and suggest additional pertinent resources.

Volunteer to Advise Us

BmoreSTEM is looking for STEM professionals to help advise us. Advisers will curate our career development resources. These resources will empower parents to guide their children.

Alternate Spring Break Opportunity to Encourage College Students to Consider Teaching STEM

The STEM Teacher Recruitment Workgroup will pilot an alternative spring break, ASB, experience for undergraduate STEM majors from Johns Hopkins, Morgan State and Notre Dame Universities the week of March 16, 2020.  The goal of this experience is to expose current undergraduate students to STEM classrooms in Baltimore City to encourage these students to consider teaching as a career option while serving their local community.  Participants will include:

  • Post-secondary undergraduates who will co-teach with a STEM teacher during their college/university spring break.  Students can be freshmen – seniors.  The team will work to ensure that freshmen, if selected, are very mature and placed with an appropriate grade level based on their age and maturity.  
  • Baltimore City Secondary STEM teachers including computer science (grades 7-12).

So far two middle schools and one high school have agreed to provide teachers to participate as mentors for undergraduate students. Our goal is to place 5 students with 5 teachers in the pilot year.  We are in the process of applying for approval to award CPD units to participating teachers.  Teachers would be required to attend a training and reflection meetings, participate in collaborative planning with an assigned undergraduate student and host the student in their science classroom for the week of March 16th, 2020.


Baltimore City Robotics Programs Continue to Expand

Team Growth Over TIme Bar Chart

Number of Programs

    • Increase in total number of programs
      • 2013-14: 38 programs
      • 2014-15: 62 programs
      • 2015-16: 82 programs
      • 2016-17: 79 programs
      • 2017-18: 72 programs
      • 2018-19: 82 programs
      • 2019-20: 95 programs

Baltimore City Public Schools remains a large percentage of Maryland programs:

  • 53/146 (36.3%) of registered Maryland VEX IQ teams are from Baltimore City up from 44/158 (27.8%) from December 2018
  • 37/180 (20.5%) of registered Maryland VEX teams are from Baltimore City up from (18.7%) from December 2018

 

Year\Program FLL FLL Jr. FRC VEX VEX IQ Grand Total
2013-14 14   2 22   38
2014-15 25   1 36   62
2015-16 26 9 1 24 22 82
2016-17 22 13 1 26 17 79
2017-18 16 15 1 21 19 72
2018-19 18 15 1 26 22 82
2019-20 22 18* 1 23 31 95
Grand Total 143 70 8 178 111 510

*Projected

Number of Teams

  • Increase in the number of teams
    • 2013-14: 58 teams
    • 2014-15: 91 teams
    • 2015-16: 89 teams
    • 2016-17: 112 teams
    • 2017-18: 110 teams
    • 2018-19: 127 teams
    • 2019-20: 140 teams

 

Year\Program FLL FLL Jr. FRC VEX VEX IQ Grand Total
2013-14 15   2 41   58
2014-15 26   1 64   91
2015-16 22 7 1 34 25 89
2016-17 24 13 1 47 27 112
2017-18 19 20 1 35 35 110
2018-19 19 20 1 44 43 127
2019-20 24 22* 1 37 56 140
Grand Total 149 82 8 302 185 587

*Projected

 

Number of New Programs

    • Increase in number of new programs each year, but declines in 2016-17.
      • 2013-14: 16 of 38 programs are new (42.1%)
      • 2014-15: 38 of 62 programs are new (61.3%)
      • 2015-16: 49 of 82 programs are new (59.8%)
      • 2016-17: 31 of 79 programs are new (39.2%)
      • 2017-18: 30 of 72 programs are new (41.7%)
      • 2018-19: 33 of 82 programs are new (40.2%)
      • 2019-20: at least 30 new programs

 

Year\Coaching Status New Veteran Veteran Coach and School, New Program Grand Total
2013-14 16 22   38
2014-15 38 22 2 62
2015-16 49 28 5 82
2016-17 31 47 1 79
2017-18 30 40 2 72
2018-19 33 49   82
Grand Total 197 208 10 415

2018-19 Robotics Statistics (As of October 2019)


BmoreSTEM is Recruiting an AmeriCorp VISTA

Are you seeking engaging work where you can make a difference? Help Baltimore youth to pursue STEM careers and empower them to achieve a brighter future. Baltimore City is a vibrant urban setting which is STEM rich. BmoreSTEM is at the nexus of all of these opportunities. BmoreSTEM strives to improve STEM literacy, ensure a strong workforce and promote equity.

 

Join us to take advantage of this unique opportunity to:

  • Bring about positive change for Baltimore City youth
  • Influence BmoreSTEM’s strategic direction
  • Enhance your leadership and entrepreneurial capacity
  • Develop relationships across varied sectors

 

You will:

  • Research, synthesize, and disseminate best practices
  • Boost communication between BmoreSTEM and the community
  • Build structures and systems to increase efficiency and effectiveness
  • Collect and synthesize data to evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives

 

This opportunity is being offered through the AmeriCorp program and Maryland Out-of-School Time (MOST). For a year of full-time work, a VISTA earns a modest living allowance. Training is provided. AmeriCorp also provides an education award to VISTA who complete their year of service. Visit the MOST AmeriCorp VISTA Portal  to learn more and to apply.


Half of Eligible Schools in Baltimore Participated in Curriculum-Embedded STEM Experiences

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70 eligible schools, or 50% of all eligible schools, either applied for transportation funds or was connected  with the attraction through our program.

These schools took 101 field trips aligned to curriculum in STEM for grades 1-8.

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These trips provided amazing student learning experiences for nearly 4,000 Baltimore City students.

Map

Coverage Map for Baltimore City Curriculum-Embedded STEM Experiences

Effective STEM Mentoring Opportunities Workgroup Status for October 2019

Unfortunately, we have been largely unsuccessful in attracting individuals interested in supporting the initiative to provide individual mentoring to the Middle School Robotics students.  We have decided to change direction and focus on recruiting speakers for ~30-minute talks to the students/parents/guardians at the 6 City Schools Robotics events that will take place this year. The list of Events we need to find speakers for is as follows:

Date Venue Target Audience
10/19 Forest Park HS Middle/High
11/09 Morgan State University All
12/14 Tench Tilghman EMS Middle/High
01/11 Calvin Rodwell EMS Elem/Middle
01/25 Johns Hopkins University All

 

Speakers will have ~30 minutes (at 9:00 AM) to speak to the students/parents/guardians about any of the following topics or another relevant topic.

  • STEM careers and opportunities (specific STEM careers or in general)
  • Workforce and Higher Education opportunities for Robotics participants
  • How students should be preparing now for careers in STEM fields?
  • What parents should know about STEM opportunities for their kids?
  • My life journey to a STEM career and how it can help you with your journey
  • Pitfalls to avoid on the way to your career in STEM

 

The speakers will NOT have access to a computer/projector, so they will need to be prepared to speak with just a microphone and whatever notes they wish to use.


The Transportation Fund for 2019-2020 is now live!

Announcement:

The transportation fund will provide transportation for Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) students to participate in Curriculum Embedded STEAM Experiences. Last year, nearly 4,000 students were able to benefit from the fund. This year, additional curriculum embedded experiences have been added to accommodate additional grade levels. https://baltimore.org/foundation/city-schools-transportation-fund  


STEM Mentors Needed for Baltimore City Middle School Robotics Students

The BmoreSTEM Ecosystem is initiating a pilot mentoring program for the Baltimore City Middle School Robotics program and we are in need of volunteer mentors to pair up with the students in the Middle School Robotics program. We are in search of local employees, retirees, college students and high school students to act as mentors to the middle school robotics participants. Our goal is capitalize on the youth’s interest in STEM (i.e. Robotics) and put them on an academic path to STEM careers and ultimately keep them on a STEM career path into and through High School.
Mentors will be able to engage in several activities with the students to include – assisting with coaching the robotics teams, attending Robotics events with the students, providing guidance on classes they should be taking to be prepared to enter high school and college ready to pursue STEM careers, and utilize on-line resources to guide them in career path selection. Our objective is to have 1 mentor per robotics student.
The time commitment for the mentors is expected to be about 1 hour per week. BmoreSTEM will provide the mentors with training materials to facilitate potential activities with the students and educate the mentors on the course sequences the students should be following to prepare for STEM careers (e.g. completion of Algebra I in Middle School and Calculus in High School).

If you are interested or have questions about this opportunity, please contact Gino Tagatay (email robotics@bcps.k12.md.us).