Newport Representative Marvin L. Abney (D-District 73), visited the STEM Interventionists at the Claiborne Pell Elementary School this morning to present a Rhode Island Legislative Grant check to Ms. Mary Nordby and Mrs. Lori Delemos to support the STEM program. On hand for the check presentation were Newport Superintendent Colleen Burns Jermain, Newport School Committee Chairperson Jo Eva Gaines, Pell School Principal Dr. Kimberly Behan, Assistant Principal Traci Westman, and Curriculum Coordinator Dale Blaess.

From left to right, Dale Blaess, Marvin Abney, Lori Delemos, Kimberly Behan, Mary Nordby, Colleen Burns Jermain, Traci Westman and Jo Eva Gaines.

In its second year, the STEM program exposes all K-4 students to STEM classes at various intervals throughout the year. STEM classes meet once a week throughout the year.  One half of the year focuses on technology and one half is devoted to STEM activities, educating students about science, technology, engineering, and math in an interdisciplinary approach. The goal of the STEM Program is to get students excited and motivated about science, technology, engineering, and math and to expose students to future STEM careers giving them a solid foundation for understanding the Engineering Design Process. STEM Education is important because STEM is everywhere; it shapes our everyday experiences and pervades every aspect of our lives.

In STEM classes, students learn about the Engineering Design Process.  Through hands-on experiences, students will think like scientists and engineers as they explore the Engineering Design Process as a way to solve problems.  Students will plan, build, and test their designs, and then have a chance to improve them.   STEM promotes problem solving, creativity, and collaboration.  Each grade level is introduced to specific STEM careers that go along with the challenges given.  STEM classes are fun and engaging that will help students learn, and might possibly plant a “seed of interest” that could grow into a future STEM career.

While presenting the legislative grant, Representative Abney remarked that the Pell STEM program is a critical program located within a public school.  It also attests to the great work that volunteers, teachers, administrators and most of all, students are engaged in the STEM philosophy within the Newport Public School System.

This year in STEM classes, Kindergarten and First Grade students will be introduced to coding through SCRATCH Jr. on the iPads and Grades 2, 3, and 4 will be using SCRATCH on Windows based laptops. Grade 4 will be introduced to the WeDo Lego Robotics kits that were funded through a grant from the RI Foundation.

This spring, Newport Area Career & Technical Center Residential Carpentry Program students will be working at Pell to collaborate in building an outdoor classroom space, the “Pell Pavilion”, funded by a Lowes Toolbox for Education Grant.

Newport Public Education Foundation just awarded the STEM program $1,500 grant to purchase STEM learning materials for our program. These materials will help students with the Engineering Design Process and give the students hands-on experiences which will help them make connections with what they are learning to the real world!


5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Thursday, November 12, 2015

– SMILES Family Science Night

The Newport Public Schools SMILES (Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences) Clubs will host a Family Science Night on November 12th at Pell School.  The SMILES program is an afterschool program run by the University of Rhode Island.  Pell’s, Thompson’s, and Roger’s SMILES clubs will be coming together to showcase to their families and friends what they have been doing after school with their club. The purpose of the SMILE program is to increase students’ preparedness to enter higher education and pursue careers in STEM fields.

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Thursday, June 2, 2016

– 2nd Annual Pell STEM Fair

The second Annual STEM Fair will be held on Thursday, June 2, 2016. This culminating event is a way to showcase what the students have been doing in class, expose students to STEM careers, and explore community STEM businesses with their families. It is also builds connections between the school and businesses in the community.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to

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