BOSTON, MA – EiE®, the Museum of Science, Boston’s award-winning curricula division is providing 2,500 Engineering is Elementary® Try It! Kits for students in Malden Public Schools ahead of February school vacation. The Try It! Kits, generously donated by National Grid, offer students hands-on science and engineering to encourage STEM learning outside of the classroom. Malden Public School teachers will receive accompanying EiE® storybooks, funded by the Adelaide Breed Bayrd Foundation, upon return from school vacation. Try It! Kits and storybooks are designed for learners in kindergarten through fifth grade and give students the opportunity to solve real-world design challenges and think like engineers at home.
Malden School System superintendent Dr. Ligia Noriega-Murphy shared the district’s appreciation, stating, “We are very glad to receive this grant from National Grid for the Museum of Science STEM kits which would immensely benefit our students.”
STEM Directors Dr. Douglas Dias and Cara Hovhanessian also expressed their appreciation for the grant funding as well as the materials. “We are constantly looking for ways to ensure that all students have access to quality learning materials,” Dias stated. “The fact that we are able to give every student in grades 1 – 5 a high-quality STEM kit from the Museum of Science is a wonderful learning opportunity.”
“Adding literacy to the engineering practices creates a rich experience for students,” Hovhanessian added.
EiE® and the Malden Public Schools selected Try It! Kits that feature activities focused on agricultural, aerospace, packaging, and environmental engineering to align with National Grid’s commitment to energy innovation. Each kit includes a mini-design challenge, materials, and instructions in English and Spanish with the goal of building STEM literacy and engaging learners with real-world challenges. To better support at-home learning and encourage families to work together, Malden Public Schools translated instructions into Portuguese, Mandarin, Haitian Creole, Russian, Arabic, and Vietnamese.
Teachers will receive culturally relevant storybooks that align with each Try It! Kit to pique students’ interests, enhance STEM literacy, and to encourage collaboration and sharing. Each school will also receive additional EiE storybooks to add to their onsite library, as a gift from the Bayrd Foundation.
“We are thankful to National Grid and the Bayrd Foundation for their tremendous support of our EiE curriculum, and for the collaboration and leadership of Dr. Doug Dias and Cara Hovhanessian from Malden for making it all happen,” said Heather Gunsallus, vice president of STEM education at the Museum of Science. “As students, teachers, and families face another year of disrupted learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful to be able to support our community during school vacation week—keeping children engaged in STEM learning.”
The generous gift from National Grid also funded the distribution of Try It! Kits to Worcester Public School students and children supported by the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and the state’s Office of Immigration and Refugees.
"National Grid is proud to be involved in such a wonderful program that directly impacts the customers and communities we serve,” said Steve Woerner, New England President at National Grid. “We are thankful to the Museum of Science for driving this effort, and for including National Grid in this opportunity to show up for our friends and neighbors across Massachusetts.”
The Try It! Kits will be distributed to students on February 16 at Salemwood Elementary School in Malden to prepare for school vacation. Families interested in learning more about EiE and Try It! Kits can visit eie.org