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

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid