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STEM Opportunities Grow For Mamaroneck Students

Meg Käufer, president of the STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck and Mamaroneck Schools Superintendent Robert Shaps spoke at the meeting.
Meg Käufer, president of the STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck and Mamaroneck Schools Superintendent Robert Shaps spoke at the meeting. Photo Credit: Contributed

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- This article was submitted by Janet O'Connell, a member of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit board.

The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit hosted a program on Tuesday, Feb. 10m on STEM Initiatives in the Mamaroneck School District.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math. Margaret Käufer, president and founding member of the STEM Alliance of Larchmont- Mamaroneck, began the program by explaining STEM.

Käufer is an educator, community organizer and fundraiser and brings her training and certifications in education to her promotion of STEM initiatives.

Joining Käufer was Mamaroneck Schools Superintendent Robert Shaps. Shaps is in his fifth year as superintendent and is proud of the STEM work taking place throughout the district.

The STEM Alliance is working as a network to connect the community to STEM inquiry as a means to solving problems and to foster innovation. The STEM Alliance seeks funding and partners for more programs.

Things are also happening at Hommocks Middle School and in the elementary schools to capture the imagination and curiosity that Käufer described as so essential in the changing world. At Hommocks, students are building and programming 3D printers and becoming adept at using Rhino software.  The entire district recently participated in an Hour of Code.

Each week 75 middle schoolers take part in after-school activities that involve STEM initiatives, and going forward, they will work with drones and vinyl cutters. The district is considering a four-year design program to work across disciplines.

Shaps said that the district is working on insuring that all students have access to this area. Soon they will introduce coding as a fourth language in addition to French, Spanish and Chinese. He added that engineering is critical to students, and the high school now has an engineering course and is considering adding another one.

A kindergarten curriculum is being developed. We have one of two maker-space programs in the country. The STEM Alliance is working with the Hispanic Resource Center to become better known in the Hispanic community.

The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit's monthly public meetings are held at the Nautilus Diner in Mamaroneck at 7:45 a.m. usually on the third Tuesday of the month.

The next breakfast meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 17, and the topic will be about the quality of our drinking water.

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