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HandsOnSTEM in 2021

2021 has been an eventful year here at HandsOnSTEM.

In the first half of the year, we continued to work with our group of 4th graders, performing new and exciting experiments every week. Although we were online for most of those sessions, the arrival of summer meant that we could have the kids over and do the experiments in person as a group.

Over the summer we also partnered together with the Schenectady Public Library to offer a 3-day summer camp filled with fun experiments. Additionally, we expanded our programs by hosting a science-themed birthday party for a 10-year-old.

In the fall, we started a new class at the Chinese Community Center (CCC) Albany Chinese School working with a small group of students from 1st grade to 4th grade. Starting with this group, we began to hand out tests at the beginning and end of each class to quantitatively measure how much students learned from our hands-on teaching method. The data we have gathered has been immensely useful in revealing which learning objectives have been clearly conveyed and which ones need to be improved to make them easier to understand.

In November and December, we worked together with the Schenectady Boys and Girls Club (learn about their mission) to provide engaging science experiments coupled with learning about science principles to a group of second graders. We continued to test students before and after the lessons and generally saw improvements. One unit that has proved tricky to teach is the electronics unit. From making the circuits out of copper tape to understanding some of the concepts, this unit has proved difficult to teach and we hope to make improvements in 2022.

2021 was also a big year for organizational growth at HandsOnSTEM. We successfully launched our new website (check us out here) with new graphics and a new layout. We also officially got our 501 (c)(3) designation from the IRS; this means that we are now officially a tax-exempt non-profit organization. Furthermore, we also established the Board of Directors and successfully passed the by-laws for the organization (meet our team here).

Furthermore, in 2022 we are looking forward to continuing our work at both the Chinese School and the Boys and Girls Club. We will also offer a series of classes at the Niskayuna Public Library in February.

2021 has been a big year of growth for us here at HandsOnSTEM and were looking forward to another successful year in 2022.

Happy Holidays,

Jeffrey Chen

HandsOnSTEM Founder and President


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