January 20, 2019


The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Club is sponsored by the Thomas and Pearl Marziani Technology fund.  In its first year, the STEM Club drew 45 students including 6th, 7th & 8th graders twice a week for variety of fun and interesting projects led by Leman Middle School teacher Nick Duda.  The group met every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00pm – 4:00pm in Mr. Duda’s science class for 24 Meetings starting in November 17, 2016.

What is it?

  • Leman Middle School STEM Club is offering a variety of student led, teacher supported, learning opportunities related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
  • The focus is not only on helping students to gain knowledge, but also skills in order to take charge of their own learning and follow their passions.
  • The following slides will give an idea of the topics and activities that students are working on. This will continue to change as student interest and understanding evolves.

STEMCon 2017

Students attended StemCon 2017 this year!

From a cryogenics demonstration by Fermilab’s Mr. Freeze to the physics of flight with a real airplane on hand to a weather balloon launch, exclusive speakers and dozens of interactive displays and booths, COD STEM-CON will provide loads of opportunities for hands-on interaction with STEM exhibits and products.








Topics covered this year

  • Programing and Computer Modeling

    • Program animals and other Minecraft creatures in your own version of Minecraft.
    • Google Sketchup – SketchUp is a 3D modeling computer program for a wide range of drawing applications such as architectural, interior design, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, film, and video game design.
  • Guest Speaker

    • Tom Baxter- career computer scientist for Bell Systems and Lucent Technologies.He worked with students about “electro-mechanically” driven communication systems; pre digital AND transitioning into digital.
  • Learned How Computers Work (Hardware and Software)

    • Students have learned how computers work (Desktops, Laptops, Cell Phones, Tablets, etc…) as well as how to troubleshoot and fix them.
    • Students have even fixed their own elecronics already! What a great skill to have!
    • Operating Systems – Students have learned about the different operating systems out there, how to use them, and choose which is best for the given application.
  • Miniature Catapult Competition

    • Students have built a variety of miniature catapults to hit targets at given distances.

  • Salt Water Powered Vehicle

    • Students built a salt water powered vehicle, VERY cool!!! It made it all the way across the classroom just on salt and water!
  • Airplane Challenge

    • Who can fly the furthest? The longest flight time? Tricks? Etc…
    • Students have tried many different styles of paper airplanes and competed in competitions for design, distance, flight time, etc…
  • VR Goggles

    • Students have been able to explore cutting edge technology via VR Goggles. They have been able to experience museums throughout the world as well as fully immersive environments. This is the future of computing. Experiencing it, and understanding how it works will benefit them immensely.
  • Lego Mindstorm Robots

    • Student have been broken into two teams, coders and builders. They are gaining the skills needed to not only build a robot, but program it to go through an obstacle course on its own. What a great opportunity!

  • Building Bikes

    • Students are learning how to put together bikes, as well as perform basic maintenance and tune-up work. These bikes will be used to generate electricity, and to build an electrically powered bike!
    • Bike Generator – We are still waiting on supplies, however, students are very excited to build this!   They have so far learned about how a multimeter works, as well as a generator and an electrical inverter (DC to AC).
  • Quadcopter (Drones)

    • Quadcopters have been ordered, and we are waiting on them to be delivered. Students have learned about gyroscopes, radio frequencies, motors, and rotors, to help them understand how quadcopters work.
  • Ham Amateur Radio

    • The order has been placed, and we are waiting on delivery. We have built a couple antennas and are excited to try them out!
  • Ecosystem Study – Leman Prairie

    • We have prepared the prairie for its yearly burn, and cut down some invasive species (mainly small trees).
    • Next year we will inventory the plants that we have growing there, and track their progress.
  • Growing Vegetables

    • Through a donation from Ball Seed, and funding from the Foundation, we will be growing Pepper, Tomato, and Melon seeds. We will integrate the arduinos to control a light in the storage room and see the effects different amounts of light have on how the plants grow!
  • Networking

    • With the purchase of mini-routers, I will teach students how to flash the software on the them and set up a wireless and wired network. This will give them the skills to not only troubleshoot their networks at home, but also for others. It’s a great skill to have (makes them very employable).
  • Put together a Tablet/gaming system

    • The students will use a Raspberry Pi and a Touch Screen to create a Tablet computer. The possibilities are endless! It will also include the “Pi Hat” which is a sensor board that was included in the International Space Station!


Anyone interested in the 2017 – 2018 STEM program please contact Mr. Duda at the Leman Middle School

A big THANK YOU to the Marziani family for funding this amazing program.  As one of the founding members of the Foundation Thomas Marziani was an integral part of the foundation’s creation, mission and goals.