1. Alisha Sparks
  2. SABES Program Manager
  4. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore City Public Schools
  1. Yolanda Abel
  2. Associate Professor
  4. Johns Hopkins University
  1. Ekaterina Denisova
  2. SABES Principal Investigator- City Schools
  4. Baltimore City Public Schools
  1. Michael Falk
  2. http://materials.jhu.edu/faculty/michael-falk
  3. Professor
  5. Johns Hopkins University
  1. Christine Newman
  2. Assistant Dean of Engineering Educational Outreach
  4. Johns Hopkins University
  1. Carolyn Parker
  2. Assistant Professor
  4. Johns Hopkins School of Education

SABES (STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools)

NSF Awards: 1237992

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

SABES (STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools) is a math and science partnership between Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools. The project seeks to engage 9 elementary schools in 3 distinct Baltimore City communities around STEM.


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Discussion from the NSF 2016 STEM For All Video Showcase (10 posts)
  • Icon for: Kathryn Quigley

    Kathryn Quigley

    Producer and Media Lead
    May 17, 2016 | 12:01 a.m.

    This is such a fun video! The vacuum project representatives were great. I love that you included the parents. Very inspiring.

  • Icon for: Alisha Sparks

    Alisha Sparks

    Lead Presenter
    SABES Program Manager
    May 17, 2016 | 07:27 a.m.

    Yes, the SABES showcases are an integral component of the work. There are 2 per year; one more community or school-based and one joint with all 9 SABES schools. Parents enjoy learning about what their children have been doing in-school and after-school. The live demonstrations also give parents the opportunity to experience STEM with their children.

  • Icon for: Colleen Lewis

    Colleen Lewis

    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2016 | 10:51 a.m.

    Really cool! I’m curious how the in-school and after-school activities relate and how you might work to disseminate the work for each.
    If you have time – I’d also love to hear about how the project has evolved over the course of the five years. What are the new insights that drive the work?
    Thanks for sharing!
    - Colleen

  • Icon for: Michael Falk

    Michael Falk

    May 17, 2016 | 04:59 p.m.

    The after-school activities allow the students more freedom of exploration, and we try to focus these on the “student driven projects” that they identify after walking through their neighborhood and asking how they would like to explore STEM while thinking about how STEM could contribute to their life or their community. Occasionally we see these projects arise from school-day activities that have been taken to the next level. For example students build roller coasters for marbles out of pipe insulation material during the school day to learn about velocity, acceleration and force, but there is a limited time window. One group took this into the after-school to explore much more complex roller coaster designs. But more commonly the student identified projects are distinct and may share only the reuse of some school day materials.

    For dissemination of school day curriculum/pd/materials we are in discussion with publishers. We are hoping to find a non-profit or for-profit with a similar vision of integrating these elements. For after-school we are going to try to sustain the elements of the program that train facilitators and perhaps expand this to offer train-the-trainer PD for supporting “student driven projects” for elementary students that others could use to emulate this practice.

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    May 17, 2016 | 04:19 p.m.

    Great project – I love all the different levels of engagement/involvement.

    I’m curious about sustainability, especially from the Johns Hopkins University partner. What does JH get from the program? Do the partnerships provide a useful learning experience for JH undergrads?

  • Icon for: Michael Falk

    Michael Falk

    May 17, 2016 | 05:05 p.m.

    I think what Johns Hopkins gets is a deeper understanding of how to be a good partner to our surrounding communities. It also provides an opening for students, mostly graduate students, to engage with the city they live in and be invited into the community. This is very significant, particularly for students coming from far away and other countries. Some undergraduates also engage in this way, but we have found the continuity we require, commitment over the entire academic year from October-June, is hard for undergrads who often disengage from Dec-Jan, depart in May and don’t know their spring schedule in the fall. As a result the undergrads who do engage in visiting SABES sites are usually embedded with graduate student teams. However, we know for the age 9-11 students having continuity of contact with adults is key, and having people show up and then not follow through is hard for them. So we try to minimize that.

  • Icon for: Cullen White

    Cullen White

    May 19, 2016 | 03:35 a.m.

    In addition to your partnership with Johns Hopkins, do you plan on working with other STEM-focused organizations in the Baltimore area to create an even stronger pathway for students in the city? Have you partnered with any maker spaces or folks in industry to share practices between SABES facilitators and those in those other orgs?

  • Icon for: Carolyn Parker

    Carolyn Parker

    Assistant Professor
    May 19, 2016 | 10:28 a.m.

    The grant’s proposal and initial work was more focused on community organizations. Now that we are completing our fourth year, we are seeking partners in industry to help sustain the project after the NSF funding ends.

  • May 23, 2016 | 10:03 a.m.

    Boy, the enthusiasm coming from the kids really says it all. Great project

  • Icon for: Anna Van Windekens

    Anna Van Windekens

    Research Assistant
    May 23, 2016 | 07:00 p.m.

    Dr. Falk’s comment about instilling STEM as a value really caught my attention. I am wondering if he or others on the project could say a bit more about what this means and what it might look like or how you might know if your project has helped to promote this outcome?

    Thanks for this important and community-oriented science education work!

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