Grace Shenefelt, Birmingham Seaholm High School Receives National Honor for Women in STEM
The International STEM Learning Ecosystem initiative encompasses schools, community settings such as after-school and summer programs, science centers and museums, and informal experiences at home and in a variety of environments that together constitute a rich array of learning opportunities for young people. A learning ecosystem harnesses the unique contributions of all these different settings in symbiosis to deliver STEM learning for all children. Designed pathways enable young people to become engaged, knowledgeable and skilled in the STEM disciplines as they progress through childhood into adolescence and early adulthood.
The Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance is an active ecosystem member of the 84 National STEM Communities of Practice. The STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice’s theme for it’s the recent Fall convening was “Living STEM: Communities at the Heart.”
Women have played a critical role in Living and Leading STEM in communities. On October 21, 2019, women who have made important contributions to living STEM across all STEM Learning Ecosystems were honored at Cleveland’s Rock-n-Roll Hall of fame
Ironic, because Grace Shenefelt is a STEM ROCKSTAR! Grace is the recipient of Girls Living STEM Award from the Southeast Michigan STEM Alliance Ecosystem – a rare, yet well-deserved honor.
Grace Shenefelt is a Senior at Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan. Grace, not only embodies a STEM culture but embraces the ever changing STEM landscape across our SE MI STEM Ecosystem. Mr. Baltz has had many dialogues with Grace on the symbiotic relationship between the STEM talent pipeline, workforce development for the future, and her role as a young female engineering student.
Hence, the most impressive attribute that Grace embodies is one of STEM stewardship within our Ecosystem. Not only is she the president of Seaholm’s STEM Leadership Academy, but she is also in charge of the FIRST robotics outreach efforts for BPS.
Committing 100% effort to the Super STEM Saturday Enrichment programs for 3rd/4th graders, leading "make and take" stations at Birmingham community STEM events, volunteering at many events at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, and raising money for DAPCEP, a non-profit organization that provides kids in the Detroit area with access to STEM.
Grace is currently working/mentoring with staff at the middle and elementary schools in her district to start FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology). As a result, students will be prepared to participate in FIRST and get excited about STEAM from as young as 6 years old.
She drives the team’s outreach efforts with programs for Girl Scouts, Seaholm LINKS, and several community organizations. Grace has inspired three elementary and one middle school principals to start FLL and FTC teams in our district. She is organizing training for these new teams and their leaders to take place this spring in preparation for the 2019/2020 season.