ASME INSPIRE School Visit Celebrates Students’ STEM Achievements

Jul 11, 2018

Raymond Tran (far left), a teacher at Joseph B. Cavallaro School in Brooklyn, N.Y., with the more than 50 sixth-grade students from his school who completed all 16 ASME INSPIRE course modules.

Continued Caption: Each of the students received a certificate during a special celebration that was held at the school in June.

For the fourth continuous year, the team behind the ASME INSPIRE program capped another successful school year with a visit to Joseph B. Cavallaro School in Brooklyn, N.Y. During the visit, which took place last month, members of the INSPIRE Classroom Connects team met with teachers and more than 50 sixth-grade students from the middle school, which was an early adopter of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) digital course.

Over the past four school visits, more than 300 students from Joseph B. Cavallaro School completed the ASME INSPIRE STEM Readiness course of 16 modules, which use online gaming and simulations to teach critical technology and coding skills, ignite interest in STEM, and expose students to STEM opportunities that they might never have dreamed were within their reach. Since its inception four years ago, the program has reached nearly 200,000 students. This year alone, more than 90,000 students in more than 1,300 schools in all 50 states have used the INSPIRE program.

Several of the sixth-grade students from Joseph B. Cavallaro School consider their responses during the INSPIRE Innovation Investigation activity during the ASME INSPIRE Classroom Connects visit last month.

During this year’s visit, 52 students from Cavallaro School were recognized for successfully completing all 16 modules. The day kicked off with inspiring words from Patti Jo Rosenthal, ASME K-12 programs manager. “Almost 140 years ago, ASME was formed to tackle a real, critical problem,” Rosenthal said. “Because at their heart, engineers are problem solvers — problem solvers for good. If something moves or requires energy to make it happen, a mechanical engineer probably designed and developed it.”

Students then had the opportunity to watch Dream Big, a recently released documentary about the impact of innovative engineers around the world. One part of the film that students particularly enjoyed involved learning about a robotics team from high school that won a national robotics championship. But the highlight of the day was when the students were put into small groups to conduct an ASME INSPIRE Innovation Investigation activity that would give them the chance to “think like an engineer.” Student teams analyzed a product and technology meant to meet the needs of both developing world communities and traditional consumers. Discussions focused on various ideas on identifying unintended consequences the product or its technology may have, how the product could be improved, and how it could be used in their own communities.

Two classes of sixth-graders — 52 students in total — took part in the daylong celebration at Cavallaro School.

When the bell rang, the enthusiastic students stayed behind to take photos with their program certificates and ask questions about STEM careers. By pairing the digital STEM program with the in-class visit, students left school with memories of a lifetime and a newfound confidence in being the innovators, developers and problem solvers of the future.

ASME INSPIRE is supported through the generosity of the ASME Foundation. For more information on the program, contact Patti Jo Rosenthal, manager, ASME K-12 Programs, at