MEF is #ROWReady & So Are the Children of Montgomery

 ROW INSTRUCTOR, AMOS DAVIDSON, LEADS THE KIDS THROUGH AN EXPLANATION OF THE OUR WEEK 1 ENGINEERING LESSON.

ROW INSTRUCTOR, AMOS DAVIDSON, LEADS THE KIDS THROUGH AN EXPLANATION OF THE OUR WEEK 1 ENGINEERING LESSON.

The Brain Forest Reading on Wheels program (ROW) is already wrapping up week 2 and our MEF Team couldn’t be more proud of what children all across Montgomery are already accomplishing!

A dedicated group of 7 staff members are working all across Montgomery County this summer with over 1,000 students at our local community centers, churches, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs. With access to our fully stocked mobile library, the Reading on Wheels staff is delivering new and classic titles directly to our children to ensure they continue reading through the summer months…and that’s not all!

 STUDENTS AT FLATWOOD COMMUNITY CENTER STUDYING BRIDGE DESIGNS TO REPLICATE IN THEIR OWN STRUCTURE.

STUDENTS AT FLATWOOD COMMUNITY CENTER STUDYING BRIDGE DESIGNS TO REPLICATE IN THEIR OWN STRUCTURE.

This summer, students participating in the ROW program are learning to be engineers, chemists, researchers, and technicians as they work on our hands-on, project based STEM activities. Week 1 kicked off with enormous excitement as the kids studied different types of bridges. Students were then instructed to replicate specific bridges in teams with their peers. Each team picked their favorite type of bridge and got to work – the challenge: students only were given gum drops and toothpicks. Using their critical thinking skills, along with a little creativity, the ROW staff was blown away at what these young learners were able to accomplish. They collaborated to put together complex structures while discussing what is necessary to strengthen and stabilize these bridges. At each site, screams of “10…9…8…7…6…” could be overheard as the students counted down to see if their bridges would pass the test to hold a five pound weight.

 STUDENTS AT SOUTHEAST YMCA DEMONSTRATING A CLOSED CIRCUIT USING JUST THEIR HANDS AND THESE FUN ENERGY BALLS.

STUDENTS AT SOUTHEAST YMCA DEMONSTRATING A CLOSED CIRCUIT USING JUST THEIR HANDS AND THESE FUN ENERGY BALLS.

Week 2 has been met with similar enthusiasm as participants were introduced to a lesson on electricity and energy. This week’s project required students to think about good conductors and insulators. Using energy balls that light up with their touch, they tested various materials and even created large human circuits as they passed their energy around the circle into the ball. Next, they were challenged to build their own circuits simply with homemade Play-Doh, battery packs, and LED lights. They were amazed to see the Play-Doh could conduct the charge through their dough and into the lights which were immediately illuminated.

Reading on Wheels is taking literacy and STEM directly to our 16 sites all summer and, with each challenge, our kids are proving they’re #ROWReady! To learn more about how you can support this program, sign up for our MEF newsletter, like us on Facebook, or contact our office. We’re excited about what’s to come. We know that each time a book is placed in a student’s hand this summer and every time an active mind is learning this proves just what a difference summer can make!

- Dillon Nettles, Community Programs Director

Montgomery Ed