As engineers and designers from all parts of the globe are creating driverless cars, a new program enables students to engage with those same autonomous driving concepts, technologies and principles.

Rolling Together, designed for junior high or high school students, is a hands-on immersion into STEM and robotics with students building and racing autonomous Soap Box Derby cars.

The program, which builds on the 100-year successful legacy of the international Soap Box Derby, better prepares students for life and work in a world of massive technological opportunities. Rolling Together engages students in critical STEM skills as well as computer science and computational thinking principles.

Additionally, it helps harness a willingness and desire to work and learn in problem-based settings with heavy reliance on experimentation.

Learn more.

For more information or to join this project, please contact Megan Thompson at


This project aims to integrate arts, coding and biomimicry. The project is particularly interested in movement/dance at the intersection of these three. Our target group is children between the ages of 11 and 14 years old (grade 4th through 8th.)

We will look at bees’ movements (wiggle dance) to teach about encoding and decoding of messages; students will use scratch to create a decoding program. 


Swarms of organisms have learned to follow simple guidelines in search of food and their home. We will introduce these mechanisms to students with a focus on bees. Bees use wiggle dance to encode a great deal of information, such as distance and direction of the food to their fellow bees. It’s one of the perfect examples of where nature has come up with good algorithms to survive and communicate in groups.


Students will form groups and decide on hidden locations for their flower using our map. They then will encode the information about the landscape, direction, and distance of this flower in their dance movements (these are chosen from a library of movements). Each group will create a program in scratch to decipher these dance movements. Here they will learn about simple programming techniques such as creating variables, conditional and repetition statements. This could be a competition where each group has to figure out the other group’s secret location without communicating using their program and observation of dance movements.

Day 1 – Experience pre made by Teachers code/dance, explore swarming (how and why)

Day 2 – Creating their own dance codes (basic scratch techniques for coding)

Day 3 – Building Code Questionnaire in Scratch and creating sound board perimeter (choose yes or no song and load onto software)

Day 4 – Showcasing codes in dance and deciphering which flower the bees swarm.

Working with an online platform for capturing information about after-school activities, The NeoStem Ecosystem will be gathering, analyzing and sharing relevant data about after-school STEM opportunities for children in Northeast Ohio. This information will be used to identify where there are deficiencies as well as abundances. We will then work to try to address the deficiencies. Additionally, this database will become a public asset that students, parents, teachers and others can use to find programs.


There are many ways to join the NEOSTEM Ecosystem.

Join one of our Clusters or a TaskForce; follow us on Facebook; suggest work that we should be doing.

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