On Thursday morning, the Cleveland Cavaliers unveiled a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) lab in collaboration with Goodyear Tire & Rubber at Stonebrook-White Montessori in East Cleveland. This is the fourth STEM-based lab, and the first STEAM-based lab, that the two Northeastern Ohio titans have provided to the greater Cleveland community. There are two more planned in the future at Valley View Elementary School, which will open later this fall, as well as East Technical High School, which is set to open in spring 2023.
The lab is part of a continuing partnership between the Cavaliers organization and Goodyear to fund $1 million of support to STEM programs in Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Akron Schools. As part of that, executives from the Cavs, Goodyear, Cleveland Mayor Bibb’s Office, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Stonebrook-White Montessori unveiled the renovated space to the student body on Thursday.
The lab at Stonebrook-White Montessori will be a conglomeration of state-of-the-art digital fabrication, modern transdisciplinary education and Montessori philosophy. Stonebrook-White students will be able to work with a laser cutter, electric plotters and 3D printers to fabricate prototypes and projects, as well as design and create their own Montessori learning tools. The lab will also have STEAM resources such as a green screen, coding and electronic kits, and programmable robots along with collaborative and flexible furniture to inspire creativity.
"Each of you are the real VIPs of today," said Nic Barlage, CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rock Entertainment Group and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to the students in attendance. "We may stand on this stage but we do so in support of you. For each of you and the journeys that you're on academically, it's so incredibly important to prioritize the curiosity that you have. The desires and interests that you have to further yourselves and push yourselves and this STEAM lab is one opportunity to continue to diversify your curiosity and what you're going to be able to do.
"Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics are really the foundation of an incredible academic career. You're going to have the opportunity to do that every single day right here at Stonebrook-White Montessori. We're honored to be part of it but it's not about us, it's about each of you."
Cleveland Cavaliers mascot Moon Dog was the emcee to kick off Thursday's events. Photo credit: Cleveland Cavaliers
There was plenty of excitement in the air during the lead-up to the unveiling of the STEAM lab. A lot of credit can go to Moon Dog, one of the mascots for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hyped up the young, aspiring scholars in attendance. But, when the carousel of guest speakers began to speak with the crowd, you could truly feel the significance of this project between all parties involved. Especially from Kevin Conwell, City of Cleveland Councilman, Ward 9 who actually graduated from Stonebrook-White Montessori in the 1970s.
"You've got to have us and the community working with you," said Conwell to the students in attendance. "They're giving us a chance the Cleveland Cavaliers and Goodyear Tires. I look around and see you not just working for someone but creating your own projects. Creating science that can travel people to Mars and Jupiter and beyond. You can do that!"
Soon after Conwell's speech and the other guest speakers spoke, the students at Stonebrook-White Montessori were allowed to explore their new STEAM lab and the excitement they shared was electric. Students lit up being able to access a laser wood cutter that was printing the school's logo for everyone. Some were zeroed in on completing circuits to make robotic bugs that would eventually help them paint something that was Picasso-esque. The brand-new 3D printers were quickly being used by others in the room as well, with others looking to enrich their understanding of a world that's constantly evolving alongside new and innovative technology.
"We at the Cleveland Cavaliers have always viewed ourselves as a community asset at the end of the day," said Barlage to Right Down Euclid. "In order to be a community asset, you have to really weave yourself into the fabric of the community. The STEM labs and this STEAM lab here at Stonebrook-White Montesorri are just examples of us putting that into action in the community and this is just one activation of that.
"But, it's an activation that hopefully helps the kids in Northeast Ohio change their trajectory in how they view academics. How they view art, science, mathematics and engineering and we believe it's incredibly important to the vibrancy of our community. It's a symbol of what we want to be about in our community as well. We don't just want to come in and change the paint in a room. We want to weave programming and opportunities into this and it gives us a chance to make a tangible impact in the community."
The installation of this STEAM lab is a continuation of the ongoing effort by the Cavaliers organization and their community campaign they dub "For the Love, For the Land". Earlier in the summer, in collaboration with the NBA, the Cavaliers organization opened the Mindfulness Learning Space at the Earle B. Turner Neighborhood Resource Center. They also placed a historical marker in front of what is now the home of the American Cancer Society at 10501 Euclid Avenue, which is the former site of the Negro Industrial Building, which hosted the original Cleveland Summit 55 years ago. With the school year just beginning, the Cavaliers have now helped launch the academic hopes of young scholars across Northeastern Ohio through this latest initiative.
Featured image credit: Cleveland Cavaliers
Evan Dammarell is a sports journalist covering all things Cleveland right off the shores of Lake Erie. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Did you enjoy this edition of Right Down Euclid? You can get it in your inbox two to three times a week by subscribing here. All it takes is either your Facebook account or email address!