HARLEM - When Yvonne Thevenot thought about what was needed for many young students in Harlem she immediately thought of STEM education.
“What’s going to happen if we don’t have enough student activities?” she said. “We’re just running in place….Harlem will be left behind again.”
Thevenot said STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math, is a rapidly growing field and something children from underserved communities, such as Harlem, need to be exposed to, so she created STEM Kids NYC, a nonprofit organization that allows kids to find a creative outlet and develop critical thinking using technology and arts.
“This is an opportunity to expose student STEM and other enrichment activities,” she said. “It will not be a program for those who are only interested in computers or interested in only science,” she said. “It’s for everybody.”
Students, whose age ranges from 6 to 13, will learn about photography, creating smartphone apps, gardening, video games, art, financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills, among other activities. The children will also take education field trips every Friday, such as a day upstate visiting a farm and the Museum of Modern Art.
Thevenot, who has roughly 11 instructors for the camp, also said she will invite professionals of color and different cultures to speak to the children to expose the children to the opportunities for them in the field.
The organization was inaugurated last year with about 36 kids participating, she said. And this year she's expecting that number to noticeably grow. The STEM Summer Splash program will be located in the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Center at 34 W 134th St. for six weeks, running from July 5 to August 12 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The program costs $150 per week, which is also tax-deductible, but there are need-based scholarships available for students based on income.
Parents can sign up by emailing email@example.com or texting @HarlemSTEM to 81010 for more info.