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Happy Earth Day from GreenTech STEM Program Coordinator Leah Grossman

Happy Earth Day!

Leah Grossman, coordinator of all things GreenTech and STEM, here. What I love about Earth Day is it is an opportunity to explore all of the initiatives that are happening in our community that are all working towards a common goal. Part of what we do here at Skillpoint is getting the innovators and designers of the future excited about pursuing careers in these fields.  As the new Green Tech Program Coordinator, I have been helping to coordinate our various High School Velocity programs and our STEM Summer Innovation camps that expose students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM!).

We host Velocity programs throughout the year and transform a group of high school students into a business consulting company that works with a client to solve a real world problem. One of these is called POWERUp; which challenges the students with designing a solution to provide 24-hour reliable, off-grid energy for 15 homes in the Texas Colonias. The students design their solutions using CAD design software and physically build prototypes of renewable energy systems. Another program, NANOTech, is working to design water filtration systems to provide clean, potable water to homes without water access.

A number of our STEM Innovation Camps engage students with renewable energy and sustainable urban planning, including Future City, FLL Green Cities, Power Puzzle and Globaloria Resource Challenge! These programs introduce young students to the energy and resource challenges our world is facing.

My engagement with Skillpoint began when I was a mentor for one of the Velocity programs. At first it was daunting; trying to engage a group of high school students, when I was only a few years older than them. After getting into the project, it was challenging, but inspiring as I realized that the students can lead themselves and they are actually excited about the work they are doing. The students are excited and driven to work on these projects because they are able to work for real people who need innovative solutions to improve their quality of life.

– Leah Grossman, lgrossman@skillpointalliance.org