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11-Year Old Inventor Hopes to Save Lives with Innovative Solution

11-year old Bishop Curry, is a young man who designed a device that alerts parents and the police if a child is left unattended in a hot car. Like all engineers, he developed the safety mechanism to meet a need. He did not want to see any other babies die in hot cars, like the incident that occurred not far from his family’s home.

How many other boys and girls have an idea for meeting a need, but haven’t quite found the way to operationalize it? Bishop is fortunate to have a father that not only listened to his idea, but encouraged him to build the concept, and currently manages the business aspect of moving Bishop’s invention through the funding, patent, and contract stages. Surely, there are countless other inventors who could also have within themselves a life-saving gadget or something that solves a real-life problem in the world.

To learn more and watch a video of a recent NBC News story on Bishop go to:


Athlete Turned Astronaut: Former Dallas Cowboy Leland D. Melvin’s Journey From the End Zone to Outer Space

STEM CAREER: Astronaut (very successful astronaut shortly after being cut by the Dallas Cowboys football team in 1987)

YoungSTEMs Connection: As a child Leland’s mother gave him a chemistry set, and told him he would “make a great astronaut”. Leland at the time didn’t think much of it, as he saw people like Neil Armstrong and others on the moon but nobody that looked like him. But, just his mother planting the seed in his brain and that simple toy of a chemistry set sparked the idea of becoming an astronaut at an early age.

Significant Contributions:

  • First Retired NFL player to become an astronaut
  • One of 16 African American NASA astronauts
  • Multiple NASA Outstanding Performance Awards

Multiple NASA Superior Accomplishment Awards


To Learn More:

This article was written by Jalen Milton.

Dr. Susan La Flesche-First Native American Woman to Receive Medical Degree

Learn more about her accomplishments here.

Tracy Jones of YoungSTEMS interviews 2 Howard County Public Schools Art Teachers About STEM Educations

Tracy Jones, Founder of YoungSTEMs and Author of Careers in STEM A to Z, recently sat down with Phelps Luck Elementary School art teachers Karen Langevin and Alanna Berman to discuss the connection between art and STEM education.  The following is the interview with these two educators.

Introduction: There are efforts in STEM that incorporate the arts, slightly changing STEM to STEAM – science, technology, engineering, ART, and mathematics.  However, we are interested in how art incorporates STEM.  In other words, how are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics used in your work as art teachers?

YS: As art teachers, do you use science, technology, engineering, mathematics?

Art Teachers: Many of the lessons we teach go back to natural elements, such as clay.  For example, as kids learn about the properties of clay drying out, they need to experience it by working with it with their hands. As they sculpt it, there is some engineering in it like balancing the piece so it doesn’t fall over.

We engage the students in art that involves trees and leaves and things like that. Nature is the inspiration. And the human condition is also something we use as inspiration.

Our curriculum covers materials, painting, drawing, clay, 3-D, and all forms of art as well as artists working in the field.

We use architects and architecture as exemplars. In 4th grade, for example, we show the Greek temples and move forward all the way to Frank Lloyd Wright, and modern architect Frank Gehry.  We show students how they borrow from the past to transform their work.

Applied math is seen in our kindergarten and primary grades.  In their art, students put shapes together and work a lot with patterns.  Also, geometry, 2D and 3D shapes.   These reinforce what they’ve learned in the classroom.

We have the students work with halves.  For example, we might ask, “What does it look like when you fold this item in half?”  Fractions are simple, but important in art.

YS: Can you tell us more about the use of fractions in art?

Art Teachers:  We help students see how things are symmetrical and balanced.  And, on purpose, not making it symmetrical. Important art elements include creating multiples, balance, and patterns.

YS:  I’ve heard you speak of nature science, mathematics, and engineering.  Tell us about your use of technology.

Art Teachers:  We are still trying to figure out which programs and projects would be relevant and age appropriate at the elementary level.

YS:  What about graphic art?

Art Teachers:  We may need to reach out to find out what is available for elementary students.  Graphic art might be possible with upper elementary grades 3 through 5.  It would match with the elements we teach*.  Software changes often in the graphic arts world.  How do you keep up with the current programs?

It is challenging using computers as a whole new tool with a lot of complexities to it.  Getting the kids to feel comfortable with the tools would take a long time. In high school and college, whole courses are dedicated to this.

Being able to build and make something is not something that comes naturally.  Some kids can draw 2-D, but have challenges with 3-D building.

*Art elements: Line, space, color, texture, shape, form, proportion, rhythm, unity, balance, pattern, emphasis

YS:  Thank you for making time to speak with us about how STEM plays a part in teaching art. 


Here are some STEM/STEAM Articles and Resources For You:

STEAM Connect

Transformation Through Arts Integration-Edutopia

“A Young Picasso or Beethoven Could Become the Next Edison”-Michigan State University





STEM Diversity Advocates Must Follow the legislation in the U.S. Congress

Many people characterize truly following Congressional bills, amendments, and implementation details as TMI – too much information.

However, we must ask ourselves, “What great changes or movements have ever been accomplished without grinding, gritty work and consistency?” In the case of remaining informed, this means reading.  And for the cause of STEM diversity, there is no exception.  With the national “buzz” around STEM, closely monitoring the details of bills is even more important.

There is an abundance of information available to us in a variety of venues, some having been vetted, some not.   So, if what we hear is confusing, then where should we turn for accuracy?  It must be in the bills and amendments that are actually proposed, passed, and implemented.  The phrase “The devil is in the details” takes on a new meaning, especially if one is to remain current and prepared for actions that promote STEM diversity.

Check out this article here and the links to the Congressional bills in their present state.  Let’s plan to revisit these bills as they progress and become implemented laws.  Learn what they mean for STEM diversity.  Learn how to stay a step ahead and strategically plan ways in which STEM diversity can be realized locally by using these national initiatives.

STEM Legislation


HR-255-Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act


Jedidah Isler

STEM Career: Astrophysics (application of the physical world to stars and other celestial bodies)

Significant Contribution/s: First African American woman to earn a PhD in astronomy from Yale University


Learn more:

Learn About these Other Black History Month STEM Stars

Cornelius Coffey

STEM Career: Aeronautical Mechanic and Licensed Pilot

Significant Contribution/s: First African American to be licensed as both a pilot and aeronautical mechanic; established his own flight training school, the Coffey School of Aeronautics, in Chicago.

Birth: September 6, 1903

Death: March 2, 1994


Learn more:

Learn About these Other Black History Month STEM Stars

Click Here to learn how to inspire your child to a STEM career

Dr. Agnes Day

STEM Career: Microbiologist (The study of all living organisms that are too small to be visible with the naked eye)

Significant Contribution/s: Research on drug-resistant fungi and breast cancer health disparities

Birth: July 20, 1952


Learn more:

Learn About these Other Black History Month STEM Stars

Click Here to inspire your child to pursue a STEM career

Dr. Velma Scantlebury-White

STEM Career: Surgeon

Significant Contribution/s: First African American female transplant; kidney transplant specialist

Birth: October 6, 1955


Learn more:

Learn About these Other Black History Month STEM Stars

Click Here to inspire your child to pursue a STEM career

The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.

— Diogenes Laertius

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