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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Students Turn a Classroom Into a STEM Toy Workshop

By Keith Pierce

As part of their annual project, MerMADE STEM TOYS4KIDS, Old Dominion University industrial technology students in the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies put their classroom experience to work to make the holidays a little brighter for children.

This year, ODU students designed and fabricated 60 STEM toys of three types; a wooden tic tac toe with the letters ODU, a 3-D printed cube composed of more than 10 pieces and puzzles for young children.

The students boxed their creations in specialized MerMADE STEM4Toys wrapped boxes designed and provided by the Slover Library Creative Studios and delivered them to patients at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.

Petros Katsioloudis, professor and chair of STEM education and professional studies, founded the semester-long project four years ago. Katsioloudis collaborated with Basim Matrood, lecturer in the same department, who taught the courses that produced the student-made toys over the last four years.

"These are age-appropriate toys designed to tech visualization skills," he said. "I have enjoyed this project, but the most important part was the students themselves, how much they have enjoyed the difference it has made in their lives."

To share the joy of this project, the Slover Library Creative Studios created three, 2-D laser engraved displays at all three locations for the community to view the donated toys.The toys will be on display in the ODU Education Building, the Slover Library and the CHKD Hospital in Norfolk.

See more in this short video.

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