Emblem Principal Jon G. Baker
Dade Moeller, a Richland, Wash.-based environmental services and radiation protection firm, has donated a LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 robotics set to Emblem Academy, the first elementary-grade public school in California’s Santa Clarita Valley opened to focus specifically on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
The topic of STEM education has taken center stage in California, with a task force on the issue convened by the State Assembly’s Select Committee on Increasing the Integration of STEM in Education. One of the task force’s primary recommendations to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson is to begin building the foundation for STEM learning in the early grades.
“With roots in education and training, Dade Moeller is pleased to support STEM learning at Emblem Academy,” said company CEO and founder Matt Moeller. “As an employer of staff members who specialize in scientific fields including radiation safety, industrial hygiene, and environmental protection, we are focused on individuals who are highly qualified in STEM subjects, as well as being motivated, curious, and creative independent thinkers. Because we know that STEM schools – even at the elementary level – play a vital role in inspiring and equipping our nation’s future workforce, we make every effort to foster STEM education in our local communities. For us, support to Emblem Academy is part of our mission and responsibility.”
Dade Moeller learned about Emblem Academy through a company employee who lives in Santa Clarita and whose children attend the school. STEM schools and programs in Washington, Maryland, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Tennessee also have benefitted from Dade Moeller’s support.
Dade Moeller’s donation of the EV3 platform, the newest generation of LEGO robotics technology, opens the door for other like-minded companies to join in supporting Emblem Academy’s robotics program. The LEGO robotics curricula are well-known for providing a hands-on foundation for STEM concepts like computer science, engineering, and math, as well as nurturing STEM-relevant skills such as problem solving, creativity, cooperation, and prototyping.
With the inaugural donation from Dade Moeller, along with a recent contribution from a local Santa Clarita company, Emblem Academy now has enough LEGO Mindstorms sets for one of the upper grade classrooms to use. Leveraging this momentum, Emblem Academy Principal Jon G. Baker now is looking to secure additional grants and corporate donations to bring LEGO robotics to more Emblem classrooms, including in the primary grades through LEGO “WeDo” sets. With enough Mindstorms and “WeDo” sets, Baker would offer a robotics “STEMinar” elective course to both the primary and upper grades, as well as establishing an Emblem Academy team to participate in local and national robotics competitions.
“The LEGO Mindstorms and ‘WeDo’ robotics sets offer such an amazing opportunity to bring real-life robotics technology into the hands of our students,” Baker said. “Not only will they enrich our STEM curriculum, but they also will provide the hands-on inspiration and motivation that many children need to fully understand and integrate scientific concepts. We are so appreciative of Dade Moeller’s contribution of our school’s first Mindstorms set, and I hope that other companies – either locally or beyond – join us in bringing this cutting-edge educational resource to the Santa Clarita Valley.”
About Dade Moeller
Dade Moeller provides a full range of professional and technical services to federal, state, and commercial clients around the country, including in California. The company specializes in radiation safety, industrial hygiene, environmental protection, training, and laboratory services. Dade Moeller employs more Certified Health Physicists [radiation protection scientists] than any other company in the United States. For more information, please contact Paula Tumlinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509-942-3704.
About Emblem Academy
Emblem Academy is a Saugus Union School District public K-6 school that was rededicated in September 2013 as a STEM focus school. Principal Jon G. Baker leads the school of approximately 575 students with a curriculum covering all subject areas but with a particular focus on STEM subjects, as well as ethics and entrepreneurship (“ESTEEM”). On October 15, the school launched its twice-weekly “STEMinar” electives program, engaging students in hands-on exploration of STEM topics ranging from computer programming, geology, and fiber arts to magnetism, weather, and marine biology.