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PAL Members Enjoy Hands-On STEM Program

Young men from Audenried PAL making molds of their hands

Young men from Audenried PAL making molds of their hands

Ten eighth through twelfth grade participants from Audenried PAL’s Boys to Men Mentoring group took part in a program to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The young men worked with local public artist Bevan Weissman to gain important skills while having fun and remaining safe after school. This mentoring program provided time for participants to interact with their PAL Center Directors outside of traditional programs and helped the students grow their professional networks.

During the first session, participants used alginate to create molds of their hands. Then they mixed plaster to fill their hands which dried into a sculpture. Engineer Mark Evans from McKean Defense Group spoke to the young men about connecting their new skills to careers. Mark stressed “knowledge is power,” and encouraged attendees to continue their studies after high school.

Audenried PAL members learning to weld with Bevan Weissman at Philadelphia Sculpture Gym

Audenried PAL members learning to weld with Bevan Weissman at Philadelphia Sculpture Gym

In the following weeks, the group visited Philadelphia Sculpture Gym to create a bridge model using popsicle sticks. They learned about solid shapes and were challenged to design the sturdiest bridge while meeting minimum length requirements and using the least amount of materials. After they voted on the most structurally sound design, the young men welded the model bridge and were impressed when it was strong enough for them to stand on.

PAL thanks Bevan Weissman, Mark Evans and Philadelphia Sculpture Gym for teaching necessary skills to PAL members while building their confidence.

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