STEMS ON THE VINES
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About

We take an interdisciplinary approach to STEMS.

 

 
 

PREPARE

students to become
citizen scientists 

LEARN

how to make a positive impact on the present environment

USE

altruism, sustainability values and STEMS disciplines to prepare for the future our students will inherit

THINK

like creators, innovators, scientists of sustainability, developers, engineers, green architects, entrepreneurs, strong leaders and ethical financiers

 
 

 
 
 

WHAT IS SOTV?

STEMS on the VINES\KC Creators Clubs as an organization has been in operation informally in the Kansas City community since September 1999. We obtained nonprofit incorporation in July 2015. In October 2015, we were invited by then Longfellow Elementary principal Peter Retsos to locate our STEMS program at this school. We successfully completed our third school year at Longfellow Elementary. We now receive invitations to bring our programming to public, private and homeschool students beyond the elementary school level.

 
 
 
 
 

SCIENCE

is used in every profession. Chefs interact with chemistry and physics as do engineers, construction workers, architects, nurses, landscapers and many other careers.

TECHNOLOGY

is an important part of our lives. Connected devices/IoT, mobile computing, communications and state-of-the-art medicine brings us a higher quality of life.

ENGINEERING

design principles help us make sense of geometry and physics. Design thinking shows us how to develop practical solutions that really help people.

MATH

functions such as fractions, percentages and statistical analysis are used in  meaningful ways through financial problem solving. Understanding financial software is a necessary skill set.

SUSTAINABILITY

gives each component in STEMS the critical methods and perspectives needed to operate in more efficient and responsible ways.

 
 

 
 

Why STEMS and not STEAM?

We acknowledge that art is an integral part of design and biomimetics. Art is certainly included the graphic design technology tools we use.

It is generally assumed that young people engage best through art as an entry point to STEMS. Experience shows us that it is more meaningful to students to work on project-based STEMS activities that solve real-world problems and actually helps someone in a tangible way.

Project-based STEMS activities gives a sense of purpose and connectedness to the community at large, boosts self-esteem, fosters altruism while making a practical and positive impact on society. Our focus on sustainability as a core value answers the biggest question students have about school:

“Why do I need to learn this?”

 
 

 
 

OUR TEAM

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DIRECTOR

Imani Malaika-Mehta

Ms. Mehta has worked as a certified computer network administrator, as a mutual fund registered representative and in communications. She is a member of iNACOL and studied the Montessori method. In 1999, she became Program Director of the after school program and Summer Day Camp at Carver Christian Academy. 

Currently, she is the Executive Director of STEMS on the VINES/ KC Creators Clubs.

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BOARD MEMBER 

Ret. Colonel Len Nevels

Col. Nevels worked as an engineer with AT&T after serving in the Air Force. He then became Director of the Community Computer Lab at Penn Valley Community College, sponsored by AT&T.

Mr. Nevels' leadership is of great benefit to both Kansas City chapters of the Buffalo Soldiers and the Tuskegee Airmen. 

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BOARD MEMBER

Mozella Dyer

Mrs. Dyer worked at NASA in Houston, configuring the space suits the astronauts wore. She also wrote programs in Assembler, FORTRAN, and COBOL.  Mrs. Dyer holds a Ph.D. in education and an MBA.

Currently, she is President of the local chapter of the Black MBA Association.

 MOBILE STEMS LAB

Most STEMS programs are restricted to one location. We bring STEMS activities to students based on their interests. Our Mobile STEMS Lab is available for in-class lab demonstrations, after school workshops, hackathons, youth retreats, and STEMS camps. Mobile STEMS Labs will travel throughout the Kansas City school district.

SOTV/KCCC STEMS lessons are interdisciplinary. We incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math into each of our STEMS modules. The main focus is on practical skills as we expose students to science, technology and finance. Industry professionals visit, talking about tools they use in everyday work. Our core value is building an awareness of sustainability in STEM.

 

OUR STUDENTS

 
 
Students say:

”I love it that I get to learn chemistry by making chemical compounds like these and find out what they are used for. I want to be a chemist and make interesting stuff.”

”I made flashing lights on this card to see how electricity works.”

”I need to know how my building will be used so I can make the best design as an architect.”

”Explaining how I make things makes me sound smart.”

”We planted a garden just so butterflies can have a place to live with the plants they like to eat. I don’t get to see very many real life butterflies.”

”I can’t make a strong tower with spaghetti and marshmallows! You have to use the right materials and know how different things act if you want to use it to build things.”

”I learn how to work well with others to get things done the right way.”

”I can build a toy car that runs on solar energy!”

”Now I know what I need to do to start a business based on STEMS.”

”I won over 1,200 points by learning how to write code in computer science!
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