Project HOME opens STEAM Lab for Philadelphia students

Andrew Kramer
January 26, 2020 - 1:00 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It's not always easy making learning fun for students, but Philadelphia nonprofit Project HOME hopes to do just that through a new educational lab that opened in North Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Aisha Barbour, who facilitates the lab, says it gives students from kindergarten through 12th grade access to some distinctive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) activities, including creating their own animations.

"They create their own video games," she continued. "They create their own coding programs. We have a lot of students that are building structures. They're building bridges."

Barbour said individual students "are responsible for driving their own learning" by choosing the projects that are most interesting to them.

"The goal with this lab is to help the students develop critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and technological skills," she added. "All the skills they'll need to survive and thrive in this ever-increasing technological world."

Philadelphia nonprofit Project HOME opened a new educational lab in North Philadelphia.
Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio

During a ribbon-cutting at the lab, some of the students gave demonstrations, including 10-year-old Khali Williams, was standing in front of a moving car made of Lego blocks.

"I programmed the robot from this tablet by moving different program blocks here into the tablet," Williams said. 

Nearby, 16-year-old Kiam Howard and a few other students were building a model of the Eiffel Tower from a specialized kit.

Asked what this project teaches, Howard said "Mostly architecture. And, like, how to stabilize things, and how to build something to keep it level. A good building that will last."

Students give demonstrations during a ribbon-cutting at the new STEAM Lab in North Philadelphia.
Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio

The lab is inside the Honickman Learning Center on North Judson Street.

Barbour said they are considering keeping the lab open in the summer.