Everett teen, Evelyn Gayhart, organized three summer STEM programs at the Eliot Family Resource Center this summer. The June program documented the growth of praying mantises, the July program detailed the lifecycle of butterflies, and the August program followed the growth of ladybugs. Students of all ages could learn from the weekly social media posts, photos and educational tools.
At the end of documenting their life cycles, she then hosted release parties for families. Adults and children were able to touch the mantis egg pod and see mantids emerge. They could hold, admire, and let fly each butterfly that they had watched evolve. They also felt the ladybugs climbing over their hands and arms. Families participated in educational activities and crafts, and took home snacks and mementos. The family resource center was happy to fund these programs and guide her through the project management. The Eliot Family Resource Center is funded by DCF and connects people to local resources. Evelyn has been a volunteer there for more than three years.