Planning, Planning, Planning

Hello World! You have stumbled upon the blog of a crazy group of kids who are biking across the USA this summer, while simultaneously teaching math and science. We are Spokes for America, an MIT-Harvard joint mission to distribute a little bit of the STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Mathematics) from Cambridge, Mass. to areas of the country that might not get the science exposure that we do here.

 

While still in Cambridge, we’ve been brainstorming how to implement this mission most effectively and how to safely bike between the nine schools/organizations where we are hosting Learning Festivals. We’ve met with professionals about how to best communicate science to middle-schoolers and we’ve spent a lot of time at Ace Wheelworks in Porter Square making sure all our gear is in check.

I am going to talk some of our success and challenges thus far, before the list grows out of control when we start biking on June 11th!

Some of our biggest successes have been communication and organization. Past years of Spokes have commented how we are way ahead of where they were during the planning process, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. It’s been a challenge with all of our schedules, and one of our members in Japan for the semester, but we made it work. In the beginning, we assigned people specific group roles, but throughout the semester these roles morphed and metamorphosed as new tasks needed to be completed.

Our biggest challenges thus far have been one of our members getting too sick to be able to participate and one of the bikes being stolen. I think that our group handled these setbacks with grace and compassion, making me confident that this is going to be a great summer with amazing people.

Thanks for reading, and check back in throughout the summer for a bit more entertaining posts. Now, I have to get back to taking inventory of what supplies we have and what we still need to purchase to make riding and teaching as disaster-free as possible…

-Olivia