From Savannah to STEM 360

I AM SAVANNAH SMART

From Savannah to STEM 360

Race cars. Launch rockets. Program robots. That’s how you build impressive futures, according to Patrick Dean and Cedric Beamon. As the director and the outreach coordinator of SSU’s STEM 360 program, respectively, they’re on a mission to bring exhilarating, brain-stretching science, technology, engineering, and math experiences to K-12 kids all across Savannah.

“STEM 360 helps minority students see that they, too, can become doctors, developers, engineers – anything they want to be,” says Dean.

Together, these “science guys” (as the kids call them) channel students’ curiosity and energy into attention-grabbing, hands-on activities. They make mouse trap cars, engineer water bottle rockets, design VEX robots – anything imagination can dream up and science can build. These aren’t just fun, one-time projects; 360 students are gearing up for some serious competitions. Like regional FIRST LEGO League robot challenges and SECME- and Intel-sponsored science and engineering fairs (all operated by STEM 360). The program has helped send winners to state and national events – from Savannah all the way to L.A.

Dean and Beamon also host interactive science workshops. Run the Saturday STEM Academy. Put on a summer enrichment camp. Spearhead grant-funded projects. And provide volunteer opportunities and career development for undergraduates right here at Savannah State. All for free.

“Kids get so much more out of this than robots and rockets. They become diligent, independent problem solvers. That will take them so far.” – Cedric Beamon

For these two Savannah State alumni, the program has brought their STEM careers full circle. Dean gets to spark in students the same love and inquisitive spirit for science that he had as a child. And Beamon is giving back to his hometown, Savannah, creating for others the kind of experiences he’d had and wanted when he was younger.

Because, like Savannah State, STEM 360 is all about making opportunities for those who need it most. And inspiring the next generation of STEM pros who will lift up their own communities – just as these science guys have done for Savannah. Just as SSU did for them. Seriously Impressive


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