We Built Earthquake-Proof Shelters and Learned GRIT at the Museum of Science


christine What did we learn during our visit to the Museum of Science? In addition to engaging in the challenge of teaming up to design mini “earthquake proof” buildings, we heard from Dr. Christine Cunningham, who founded and directs the Engineering is Elementary program at MOS. The Engineering Adventures program that SheGives is supporting is an after-school program that teaches kids grit through engaging them in design projects. Why grit? Because it is an essential “habit of mind” for success in engineering. As it is for so many other pursuits.

everyone at work

Other engingeering habits of mind reladiane janet peekingted to grit that are encouraged through building the Engineering Adventures projects are persistence, creativity, teamwork, innovation, problem-solving.  As you can see from the shots of our MOS event, we exercised all of those skills as well.  And though we didn’t actually compete against each other, some of us felt that it was plainly obvious that a certain highly respected architect wearing a lovely purple scarf *may* have designed the sturdiest shelter.  (Not naming any names.  Wink, wink.)

dina natalie lead photo!

EA is part of the EiE program of the MOS, which is a groundbreaking project that integrates engineering concepts into elementary curriculum and teacher professional development. To date, EiE has served four million children nationwide and 55,000 educators.

Which really goes to why SheGives selected an EiE program at the MOS. Because of MOS’s incredible reach. SheGives was looking for a nonprofit focused on developing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills in kids, and particularly in underrepresented communities. MOS is the only science museum in the country with a plan to advance technological literacy in museums and schools. It is one of the largest science centers in the world, and Boston’s most attended cultural institution. And truly one of its most important gifts to the world of learning.

melissa connieIn addition to Christine, we thank Melissa Higgins, EiE’s director of curriculum development for EiE, who endeavored to enlighten the non-architect trained among us on construction basis.  We also wish to thank Joan Hadley, Development at MOS,  for creating an original, engaging and inspiring evening.

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janelle heidi

shegivesMOS027SheGives connects committed, inquisitive, engaged donors with a slate of diligenced nonprofits in the Greater Boston area.  We provide members with relevant data about the nonprofits in our portfolio and an opportunity to meet directly with our nonprofits’ Executive Directors and senior staff in small settings that promote in-depth q&a’s and, ultimately, informed giving. Giving is personally driven, but because we give side-by-side our collective impact is greater. See a list of the vetted nonprofits selected for our slate here.


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