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From robots to rockets: Get yourself digivated!

Published on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 by Meg Olson

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Anne and Steve Berman discuss the NASA grant awarded to DIGIVATIONS to fund NASA-inspired workshops at the community center. Photo by Meg Olson.

Thanks to a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), local students and educators have access to unique workshops this summer.

DIGIVATIONS Institute was one of only four organizations in Washington to receive one of the NASA Summer of Innovation mini-grants. The $2,460 grant will help the nonprofit educational organization offer three workshops in August that combine science, technology, engineering and math with the arts to encourage innovation in young people.

“They have this grant for underserved communities like ours to bring programs like this in,” Anne Berman told the Point Roberts parks board at its July 10 meeting. “The grant exists so we as a nation don’t lose our edge in innovation.”

Berman, with her husband Steve, are co-founders of DIGIVATIONS Educational Ventures, of which DIGIVATIONS Institute is an affiliate. Steve is an engineer with a JD from Yeshiva University, while Anne is a musician with a PhD from the University of California/Santa Barbara. Between the two, they have more than 50 years of engineering, science, technology, artistic, academic, legal and business experience to support the DIGIVATIONS Institute.

The DIGIVATIONS curriculum stems from more than 30 years of collective pedagogical and classroom at the secondary and university level. Anne explained their curriculum engages “multiple intelligences” by taking a multidisciplinary approach to every lesson, combining rigorous science with creative learning and hands-on building using LEGO Serious Play and Pitsco Science kits.

“Everyone has multiple intelligences,” Anne said. “In the DIGIVATIONS experience they can find their way to success.”
The three workshops will explore NASA-themed content – robotics, rocketry and craters – using DIGIVATIONS curriculum. The workshops, on August 6, 13, and 20, cost $10 each plus a $10 registration fee, and run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will also be a professional development training workshop for educators and homeschool families, for a yet-to-be-determined fee. Up to 40 students can attend each workshop.

The parks department agreed to be a sponsor of the program by allowing the workshops to be held at the community center for free.

“We are hoping to get enough support to continue to offer workshops monthly,” Steve said. “Eventually we’d like to offer a complimentary program in collaboration with the library.”

For more information or to register for the program, visit www.digivations.com, email info@digivations.com or call 360/543-5641.


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