ferris_web.jpgMIAMI — A Detroit native educated in Florida came back to share with 45 students participating in summer camp at the Little Haiti Optimist Club. Yul Allen, founder of STEM Genius, a program through which students have fun while learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Allen, is a graduate of Florida Memorial University and St. Thomas University.

Allen trained the Little Haiti Optimist Club staff and was guest instructor during the week of June 30th to July 4. His hope is that with more funding, the club could get a STEM Genius Design Studio.

The summer camp has students ages 5-15 in grades kindergarten-8th at Soar Park, 20 NW 83 St., in the Little River neighborhood.  Students participating in the summer camp come from Little Haiti and the surrounding neighborhoods. 

At summer camp, students are taught basic engineering skills, computer programming and hands-on design and building of various projects. The students participate in hands-on educational activities such as how to use the computer to create prosthetic limbs and program robots. They design and build a six-foot Ferris wheel as well as simulate a rocket launch and flying drones. In addition, the campers go on field trips, engage in physical fitness, learning to play chess, participate in academic drills, journaling and arts and crafts. 

On July 30, at 5:30 p.m. after eight weeks at camp, students will demonstrate what they learned to their families and friends. Then they graduate with a certificate of completion.

The Little Haiti Optimist Club is a part of Optimists International, whose mission is to make a difference in the lives of youth by providing education, mentorship, athletics, arts and cultural programming.  The summer camp received support from The Children’s Trust, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces, The Cushman School and STEM Genius.

The club’s other activities and programs include:  Little Haiti Optimist Club Community Tech & Youth Center; Book Bag & School Supplies Giveaway; Mentorship Program; Career Day; REEL Opportunities Film Program; Fashion 101; Little Haiti Keeping It Clean & Green; Little Haiti Health & Fitness Fair; LHOC Reads; Turkey Giveaway; Toy Drive & Giveaway and athletic programs consisting of:  soccer, football, wrestling, basketball and track & field.