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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid