215 South 16th Street – Suite 16 Philadelphia, PA19102-3349     

A Fulfilling Experience At My Children’s School (Aug 2009)

Children are way more persuasive than the best lobbyist in Congress. This past May my children cajoled me to prove to their classmates, once and for all, that their father was a real engineer. ‘Career Day’ at their school was quickly approaching – a prime opportunity for me to meet their classmates. I hemmed and hawed about loosing a day’s pay, and other superficial excuses. Maybe I was a little nervous about how I would be received. Would these elementary school children sit fixated listening to my day-to-day activities as an aerospace engineer?

During this time I read many education professionals testify that children must be reached by 5th grade to attract them to science, technology, engineering and mathematical (STEM) career paths. The US governors even met to discuss the issue of the lack of students seeking STEM post-college majors. This new information held me accountable to no less than using the event to gage the response of our children to STEM careers.

My son’s 5th grade classmates threw me some challenging questions on rotorcraft, some taboo to the aerodynamic SMES at my plant. I also observed the girls curious, but shy, to ask questions. However, the girls were more detailed in their interrogation than the boys. I was fortunate to have a blackboard to describe processes that I could not verbally express. My daughter’s 3rd grade class was equally appreciative to have someone visit them for 40 minutes to give them hope in reaching their dreams. I went back to work with issues to research.

Please consider introducing your profession to the children at your local schools or ala mater. It will be a greatly rewarding experience for you and the students. PSPE’s official K-12 STEM Outreach Program, DiscoverE, is a great way for you to connect with the youth during Engineer’s Week in February. Please visit the website at http://www.eweek.org/EngineersWeek/DiscoverE.aspx.



Contact Info:

Cell: 215.880.4094

Email: DiscoverE@pspe-philly.org

Website: http://www.pspe-philly.org/k-12/k-12.html



Below are some other programs that need your support. Please call me if you are interested in volunteering, need more information or would like to start a PSPE structured program using these resources.

Programs through the Philadelphia School Board

Contact: Velda V. Morris, M.Ed/ (215) 400-4130/ vmorris@philasd.org


  1. The Philadelphia Boosting Engineering Science and Technology (BEST)

Grade Level - For middle and high schools

Date: Sep 26 to Nov 7, 2009

Contact: Contact: Velda V. Morris, M.Ed (Hub Director) - vmorris@philasd.org

Location: High School of the Future

Message excerpt from V. Morris (Hub Director) – “… robot performance and oral presentation judges and mentors are … needed for the Philadelphia Boosting

Engineering, Science, and Technology Hub Robotics Competition, November 7, 2009, High School of the Future.

More info: http://www.robotevents.com/

  1. Philadelphia FIRST LEGO League (FLL)

Age Level – 9 to 14 years

Date: Last Saturday in January (registration open May to Nov)

Contact: Contact: Velda V. Morris, M.Ed - vmorris@philasd.org

Location: TBD

Excerpt from FIRST LEGO League’s website – “No matter what the child’s subject interest, FLL offers an opportunity for engagement. Whether it is by creativity, technology, or research, FLL dares kids to test, explore, expand, or completely change thoughts and approaches for different sciences each year.

More info: http://www.usfirst.org/community/fll/

Programs through the Pennsylvania STEM Initiative


  1. Kids on Campus

Grade Level - For middle and high schools

Date: June 22 – Aug 10, 2009

Contact: Carol D. Mikulski (Executive Director) - mikulski@bucks.edu

Location: Bucks County Community College

Program website excerpt – “We have scheduled many of our most popular workshops and sports clinics, as well as an exciting array of new ones. So, whether you are looking for Art, Music, Languages, Sports, Science, Test Prep, or Study Skills, read on! We hope your child will join us for a summer of fun, friends and learning!”

More info: http://www.bucks.edu/kidsoncampus/


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