STEMS ON THE VINES
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About

We take an interdisciplinary approach to STEM.

 

 
 

PREPARE

students to become
citizen scientists 

LEARN

how to make a positive impact on the present environment

USE

altruism, sustainability values and STEM disciplines to prepare for the future they will inherit

THINK

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

 
 

 
 
 

WHAT IS SOTV?

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

MATH

functions such as fractions, percentages and statistical analysis are used in  meaningful ways through financial problem solving. 

SUSTAINABILITY

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

 
 

 
 

Why STEMS and not STEAM?

Art is an integral part of design and biomimetics. Art is certainly included the graphic design technology tools we use. 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 STEM LAB

Most STEM programs are restricted to one location. We bring STEM activities to interested students. We make this available for in-class lab demonstrations, after school workshops, hackathons, youth retreats, and STEM camps. Our Mobile STEM Lab will travel throughout the KCPS district, bringing STEM to interested students. The main focus is on basic, practical skills and exposing students to technology. 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 got over 1,200 points by learning how to write code in computer science!”
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