Mar 03, 2021
Al Engle
District 7430 STEM Project

Al Engel - presenting the STEM - Youth Explorer Academy" project (STEM-YEA).  STEM is the acronym used to discuss the body of science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. 

AL ENGEL is a member and past president (2015-16) of the Souderton-Telford club and currently serves as District 7430 Chair for the Four Way Test Speech Contest.  He also serves on the committee developing the STEM-YEA project.  His profession is engineering and he has led several multi-discipline engineering firms delivering public transit and passenger rail projects.  Currently an independent consultant, his last full-time position was as VP of Amtrak's High-Speed Rail Department (2010-2011).  When he was a high school student, a Rotary club sent him to Camp Neidig and also gave him a scholarship that helped in funding a Penn State Engineering education.  He is passionate about creating and supporting similar opportunities for today's youth.


The Rotary STEM Youth Explorer Academy:

In the US today there is a large disparity between the number of STEM college graduates and position openings. The STEM disciplines are key to Rotary’s success in delivering on its “Seven Areas of Focus”.   A special committee is working to develop a residential camp (academy) held at college campus where middle school age students (grades 6-8) convene from throughout the District to participate in a multi-day program, akin to Camp Neidig.   The activities and curriculum are built around the STEM disciplines with the intent of inspiring our youth to consider a STEM area as an educational focus. 

To create a context for STEM learning, the District is exploring a partnership with the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute to draw on their educational resources regarding astronomy, space exploration and the search for life beyond earth.   We are also exploring a partnership with Albright College to host the academy and assist in curriculum development as well as faculty training.   The program would include guest speakers, workshops, team building exercises, exploratory hikes and more.  All clubs in the District are encouraged be a  co-sponsor in a grant application to fund the development of the program.  We are also looking for volunteers to assist in program development and delivery.