Newsletter – July 15, 2014

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We’ve Got the Power 

Colonie de Vacances STEM Week Five Recap & Preview of Week Six

We had an energy-filled week five at iNERDE’s Colonie de Vacances STEM. Our students learned all about alternative energy methods, built their own solar-powered vehicles, and went on a field trip to the hydroelectricity plant at Énergie du Mali. We also spent some time on the physics of soccer in recognition of the World Cup.

The kids have been absolutely incredible to say the least. They are extremely bright, motivated to learn, and energetic. A specific instance that stands out for me was when one of our students, Mohamed, walked to the house that we have been staying at, specifically so that he could learn more about the solar cars that we built in class the previous day. We were so inspired by Mohamed’s motivation and desire to learn that we got together some materials for him to take home and build his own solar powered car over the weekend. Seeing the smile on his face was priceless.

– Joey Orlando, Director of Nerdy Finances


Thanks again to all of our week five activity sponsors!

Nerd Spotlight: Allaye

Age 10 years old

What I Want to be When I Grow Up  Supreme Court Judge

If I had a Robot… I would want it to do everything I ask it to

Favorite Activity So Far I really liked building catapults and planes

Favorite Color  Blue

What I Like Most About Mali The National Museum

Rocket Science!

Sponsored by Charles S. Phillips & Fatoumata Dembele

The week kicked off with everyone using their knowledge of the design process to build air-powered rockets. Here, Diaw shows off the design of his balloon launcher to the rest of the class. 

Can a raw egg survive a fall from two stories high? The class was ecstatic upon discovering that their egg remained intact during Monday’s egg-drop challenge. Hurrah! 

Energy & Solar-Powered Cars

Sponsored by Klein Gauthier & Franco Famularo

We introduced our nerds to alternative energy sources this week. After learning how solar panels convert energy from the sun – first into electrical energy and then into mechanical energy – Lassana was able to successfully build a solar-powered fan. 

Who knew you could build a working compass out of water, styrofoam, a small piece of metal, and a magnet? The class got to use these homemade devices as part of a lesson on world geography. 

Solar-Powered Cars: Part 2

Sponsored by Daniel and Blandine Stringer

We challenged our students to design their own solar-powered vehicles. Here’s our Chief Nerd, Mohamed Kante, showing the class how the gears on the car’s drive shaft are powered by a solar panel. 

While learning about combustion engines, the nerds watched an episode of Le Bus Magique (The Magic School Bus) to better understand how cars function. 

The Physics of Soccer & Énergie du Mali

Sponsored by Brooke Schwartz, Aishwarya Sarma & Habi Coulibaly

During our Physics of Soccer lesson, Méry calculated how fast he kicked the ball by timing how long it took for the ball to travel a set distance and using the distance = rate * time equation

On their visit to Énergie du Mali, the nerds learned all about how electricity is generated and distributed at the hydro power plant located on the Niger River in Bamako. 

What’s in Store for Week Six?

Here’s a glimpse at what’s in store for the students during week six of iNERDE’s Colonie De Vacances STEM!
Week Six Activity Sponsors
Discovering the Needs Around Me
Syamala Akella

How Can STEM Help?
Ishita Deb Majumdar


Project Design
Prem Ranjan


Basics of Public Speaking
Kenneth Cardwell

Field Trip
Lizzane Tracy

Want to Know More? 

This is the Week 5 Newsletter. Click here to go to the Week 6 Newsletter. Click here to go to the Week 4 Newsletter.

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