News / Science & Technology

Couple Turns Science into Community Affair

Promoting Science and Rediscovering Meaning of Communityi
X
Faiza Elmasry
June 09, 2014 5:44 PM
George Boyce and his wife Eva Fallon have finally made their lifelong dream a reality. Last year, the couple founded GreenSTEMs, a non-profit that promotes science and creativity. They turned an empty store in downtown Greenbelt, Maryland, into a community clubhouse. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, it's a space for people, especially kids, to work together or individually on science projects and hobbies. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Faiza Elmasry
George Boyce and his wife Eva Fallon have finally made their lifelong dream a reality. 

Last year, the couple founded GreenSTEMs, a non-profit that promotes science and creativity.

They turned an empty store in downtown Greenbelt, Maryland, into a community clubhouse. It's a space where people, especially kids, come together to work -- individually or in groups -- on science projects and hobbies.  

From the outside, Club 125, which is named for its street address, looks like any other store in a shopping area. But step inside and you'll see a science club with dozens of computers, laptops, wires, light bulbs and screws.
 
“Our three core areas are robotics, micro electronics and computer science,” said founder George Boyce. “[It] gives us an opportunity to introduce kids and families and adults to science and technology. It gives people an opportunity to work hands-on and learn some new stuff that might not be able to learn at school, or as adults, they don’t have they don’t have the opportunity to work with because they don’t have the right resources.”

Boyce and his wife Eva Fallon, both work in Internet technology.

School children come here with their teachers or parents.

“I like science, but I like making robots better,” said Dinah Cohen, 11, a student who is schooled at home. 

With her father's help, she used the resources at Club 125 to make a robot in a shape of an elephant.

“We want to make it move," she said. "I'd like to make the elephant work better.”

Her mother - and teacher - Leah Cohen views Club 125 is a great learning opportunity.

“She comes here and has to solve a problem with her Lego robotics," Cohen said." Coming here is really great because it’s a really diverse group of people, so Dinah learns from kids who are younger than herself. She learns how to work with kids who are older than herself. She also works with the wide variety of adults that are in here too.”

That’s exactly what Boyce dreamed the creative space would provide.

“We're actually open more hours and different hours from the library," he said. "So we’re able to provide access to resources like our computer network and our laptops so that kids can come in.”

Boyce and and his wife Eva Fallon, who both work in Internet technology, founded the club after transforming a dry-cleaning store into the community club.
 
“It’s very hands-on. It’s also very self-directed,” said Fallon, adding the the club is a work in progress. “If someone is interested in something, we try to help them figure out how to learn about it, how to do something with it. Yes, there is some level of direction, but we really try to encourage them to puzzle it out on their own. And then show us what they did.”

And the club isn't only about science and technology.

“We include some art and crafts, predominantly because I’m a knitter," Fallon said. "We have popular events: repair café, 'Don’t throw it away, repair it.' So people bring in broken items and volunteers repair them or if they’re not repairable, we take them to electronics recycling, but we do jewelry repair, we had bicycle repair, small appliances, some furniture repairs.” 

Volunteers like Windy Cooler help run the club.

“The space serves as something of a community living room," Cooler said. "It’s like an extension of my home. It continues to challenge us to have to have better and more meaningful relationships with each other, to share skills, and share food, and share our lives with each other and help raise each other’s children.”

Club 125, she says, defines what a community is and in the process, promotes experimentation and curiosity.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs