STEM Activities at East Lansing High School Receive Boost from AT&T, Parents and Community

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018, 7:44 am
Ann Kammerer

Photo 01: Members of the ELHS Robotics and Science Olympiad Clubs celebrate the $10,000 gift from AT&T at a check presentation ceremony at the ELHS Hub.

Google co-founder Larry Page graduated from East Lansing High School in 1991. A half century before in 1943, Charles Bachman graduated and went on to lay the foundation for modern digital commerce.

Committed students, teachers and parents are still driving success in the sciences at ELHS. The broader community contributes, too, including AT&T’s recent $10,000 gift to the East Lansing Educational Foundation to help fund after-school science activities and general science programs at ELHS.

“We are very appreciative of AT&T’s generous support of the supplemental and educational opportunities available to students here in East Lansing,” said ELEF Board President Kwafo Adarkwa. “It’s the start of a beautiful friendship.”

Yvette Collins, AT&T regional director of external affairs, said the gift is part of the company’s overarching effort to raise high school graduation rates nationwide to 90 percent by 2020, and to contribute to the communities they serve. Two of Collin’s children are alumnus of ELHS, with a third graduating this year.

“We all recognize the value and benefit of STEM programs in today’s world,” said Collins. “We want to help prepare kids for college and whatever their future jobs may bring. Essentially, AT&T wants to support schools in supporting students.”

State Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. attended the presentation to chat with students from the ELHS Robotics Club and Science Olympiad Team who will benefit from the gift. With three children in the district, Hertel was quick to recognize AT&T’s efforts to support education and math and science skills.

“We’re all in this together,” said Hertel. “When I go and talk with companies around the state, one of the biggest problems they have is talent. The only way to fix that problem is to invest.”

Hertel acknowledged that Michigan needs to do more with state dollars, but said it was good when private dollars could help as well.

“The super long-term solution is for the state to actually make those investments,” he said. “But it’s good when people at places like AT&T are willing to step up now and help fill the gaps.”

Andrew Holmes is among the more than 250 science-inclined students who will benefit from AT&T’s generosity. He’s a member of the high school’s robotics club and was on-hand to demonstrate a two-foot tall robot with a LEGO-like exoskeleton. Holmes enjoys building robots with fellow club members, and looks ahead to a slate of six or more competitions this academic year at schools across the state.

“This is our future,” said Holmes. “As a society and as a community, this is where the jobs will be. Everything we’re learning and building has practical uses, and could be used to improve our world.”

East Lansing High School currently has a multitude of student-led clubs devoted to the sciences, including the Robotics Club, Science Olympiad, and Students for Females in STEM. Several clubs have upcoming community-based activities, with one running in September and the other in October.

Robotics Festival

Sunday, September 16, 2018

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

East Lansing Valley Court Park adjacent to the East Lansing Farmer’s Market

Watch robots (including a robotic fish) in action, build one of your own, see an autonomous vehicle, and learn more about robotics with students from the East Lansing High School Robotics Club. Sponsored by the City of East Lansing, MSU College of Engineering, East Lansing Public Library, ITEC (Information Technology Empowerment Center), and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.

“The festival is a good way to see what robots can do,” says ELHS Robotics Club Parent Adviser Nelson Ng. “If you’re a student, it’s also a way to see if you would like to join the club.”

For more information about the festival, or to find out how you can contribute to or become a member of the ELHS Robotics Club, contact Nelson Ng at


Redefining the Face of STEM

Girl Powered Workshops

In Celebration of International Day of the Girl

Sunday, October 14, 2018

1 to 4 p.m.

East Lansing High School Cafeteria

Redefine your horizons and learn more about science, technology, engineering and math from students at East Lansing High School. Plans are in the works for three-hours of activities that include STEM demonstrations, presentations from educational or industry experts, information booths, and a keynote speaker. Coordinated by ELHS student groups including Students for Females in STEM, Robotics Club and Science Olympiad Club. The ELHS Girl Powered Workshops are based on materials from the REC Foundation and VEX Robotics to celebrate International Day of the Girl.


“When I was first going into high school, I wasn’t aware of all the opportunities available to me,” said ELHS Senior Mara Logan, member of Students for Females in STEM, and vice president of the Science Olympiad Club. “I’m hoping this event will encourage young women and girls in the district to understand the opportunities they have access to at East Lansing High School.”

For more information about the upcoming Girl Powered Workshops celebrating the International Day of the Girl, contact ELHS Robotics Club Parent Adviser Nelson Ng at, or ELHS Science Olympiad Club Head Coach Will Kopachik



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