Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

STEMITO: Building Brighter Futures

Project #
Washington and Lee University
  • Angel Vela de la Garza Evia

STEMITO: Building Brighter Futures

In a 120-student primary school in Monterrey, Angel Vela de la Garza Evia led a team that rebuilt the school’s library into a two-room science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). They then delivered hands-on workshops in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for 30 young people, with experiments and field trips to STEM-oriented sites.

Angel’s team painted the library rooms, installed flooring, electric outlets and an air conditioner, fixed plumbing and painted a mural. Seeing the team of students doing the hard work helped persuade the community that they could be trusted and deserved support.

“They started accepting us ... the mothers would bring us lunch and homemade goods to express their gratitude for what we were doing for their children,” Angel writes. “We had multiple families around Monterrey gather recycling materials for us to use. We got donations of water and water bottles ... A local high school donated over 200 school supplies.”

For the STEMito workshops, an education major at the Universidad de Monterrey designed lesson plans and materials lists. “We focused on having one-on-one interactions by dividing the group into smaller teams and having them rotate between different stations,” Angel writes. “That way we could individually help them.”

The team also brought the students to the Alfa Science Planetarium and the Lego factory, where they watched the manufacturing process.

Hoping to deliver STEMito again next summer, the team worked with the school’s leaders and staff to develop a plan for showing new teachers how to use the room for STEM learning.