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Sparkt Bridges: Teens Make Science Fun for Younger Students

WATCH as we check out the "STEM and Buds Club" they started from scratch!

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Posted by Anne Linaberger
June 10, 2019

This story is part of a bi-weekly series that celebrates people who are reaching across a divide to "build bridges" with those different from themselves. The Sparkt Bridges series is made possible with the support of UPMC.


Who stays after school to study science? Ashna Patel and Victoria Ren do! They love science. They love getting younger people excited about it. And they love to teach. So these high schoolers came up with the idea to start a club to get elementary and middle school-age boys and girls fired up about science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.


Victoria Ren and "bud" Anushka Prabhu.


That's how the STEM & Buds Club got started. Now these young women are bridging their science-and-technology mentoring program beyond their hometown to other school districts where kids might not have the same resources. We were there to share the excitement when the first "buds" finished their first science-fair-ready projects!



This year the STEM and Buds Club launched with 6th graders at Ingomar and Marshall Middle Schools in the North Allegheny School District, about 10 miles north of Pittsburgh. Victoria and Ashna also started a weekly club in the Ambridge School District in nearby Beaver County, where fourth fifth graders at State Street Elementary School got a chance to create projects under their tutelage.


Ashna Patel with "buds" at State Street Elementary School in Baden, PA.


Next school year to the two plan to launch two more chapters. This summer they're holding two free summer camps for students entering grades 6-8. Click here for more information.


Another group of North Allegheny High School Students has organized a free summer computer coding camp, where kids in grades 4-8 will get exposure to computer science -- and the teachers will be high school students. Click here for more information.


The Sparkt Bridges Project is produced

with the generous support of UPMC.

Life Changing Medicine.


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