Engineering for Kids, a nationwide series of programs and classes designed to teach children about science, technology, engineering and mathematics, often referred to as STEM, will begin offering after-school programs and classes in metro Atlanta elementary and middle schools this fall, according to Maureen Myrie of Austell, the overseer for Engineering for Kids’ metro Atlanta programs and classes.
Engineering for Kids was founded by Dori Roberts, a high school teacher who taught engineering, math and technology for 11 years. Roberts recognized a need for science-based programs in high schools and decided to pioneer an after-school club that would compete in various engineering and technology competitions, according to the Engineering for Kids website, engineering forkids.net.
After the club grew to more than 180 members and won several state championships, Roberts decided to expand Engineering for Kids, growing the organization to its current size of more than 60 classes throughout the United States.
Myrie, a University of Alabama graduate and businesswoman who specializes in information technology projects, said it is imperative that children have exposure to science and mathematics based fields, noting that the future of the global economy is STEM-oriented.
“Our program is STEM-based, so it is going to be able to help prepare children for the global economy,” Myrie said.
Forbes agreed with Myrie. Biomedical engineering is ranked as the most valuable college major by Forbes, followed by biochemistry, computer science, software engineering and environmental engineering. All 15 on Forbes’ 15 most valuable college majors list were science- and mathematics-based majors.
Myrie said she is working with Cobb, Gwinnett and Fulton county schools to bring after-school programs to the counties’ elementary and middle schools. She said most of the schools are enthusiastic about Engineering for Kids.
Engineering for Kids’ will begin hosting classes in area schools this fall as four-, six-, and eight-week long sessions taught either by an Engineering for Kids representative or a teacher from the school who has training in STEM fields. The organization also plans to work with churches, libraries and community centers to have classes on weekends and evenings. Myrie also said Engineering for Kids’ classes are available for home-schooled students.
Engineering for Kids’ metro Atlanta division plans camps during summer, winter and spring breaks, as well as STEM-themed parties that will feature hands-on engineering projects for kids, like building and launching straw rockets to learn about Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion.
For more information about Engineering for Kids, prospective teaching opportunities, classes, camps and parties, go online to www. engineeringforkids.net or by call (770) 648-KIDS (5437).