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Connect A Million Minds: NYC Students Get Hands-On Learning Experience

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A new hands-on initiative is expanding the ways children learn about science, technology, engineering and math in schools. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.

They're movers and makers.

At PS 107 and other elementary schools in the Bronx, students have been using their minds and hands to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), all through a new grant funded pilot program called "Maker Kids."

Founder Karen Kaun modeled the initiative after Dale Dougherty's "Maker Faire," a world-renowned event that encourages a do-it-yourself mindset to create STEM-based projects.

"I know that the more they can be hands-on, touching things, experimenting with things and really letting their imaginations fly, the more they can do," she said. "That's science."

Projects include "squishy batteries" made from copper, nails and dough whipped up from household ingredients like creme of tartar. Electrifying, to say the least.

"What I like about making things out of just anything is that you can discover something new," said student Teyenna Terry.

The students are discovering all sorts of new things, such as air-powered cars and hydroponic gardens.

"A hydroponic garden is when you grow plants and vegetables without soil," said student Juliette Sanchez. "Instead, you use water and nutrients."

A big part of "maker kids" is to encourage students to double as teachers.

"Some people don't know how to build this," said student Jaide Torres. "I teach them how to build them. Every day, you learn a new thing."

Teyenna can show viewers how to make a brush bot through a how-to video at maker-kid.com. Viewers who log on to the site can also blog about their own projects .

"So you start to get this dialogue going where children can really support each other to become makers," Kaun said.

Kaun is working how to create with students from around the world.

For more on programs engaging students in STEM, go online to connectamillionminds.com.

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