News and Events

Listen in on Thursday, August 4 at noon to the Joe Show, KBAI, AM930 Progressive Talk
Point Robert's Kids Workshops Combine Math, Science with ArtBellingham Herald, Published on August 3, 2011 by Kira M. Cox
From Robots to Rockets: Get Yourself Digivated! All Point BulletinPublished on Fri, Jul 29, 2011 by Meg Olson
Innovative Science Workshops for Kids Delta Optimist, Published on July 21, 2011

Point Roberts kids' workshops combine math, science with art


POINT ROBERTS - A Point Roberts couple is bringing a new approach to teaching science and math to students in northwest Washington, thanks to a mini-grant from NASA.

Steve and Anne Berman, founders of the nonprofit DIGIVATIONS Institute, received a Summer of Innovation mini-grant from the space agency. Using it they'll offer three August workshops in Point Roberts for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math, subjects commonly referred to as STEM.

But their teaching approach is different from many, with an emphasis on combining the arts and creative thinking with STEM instruction, engaging "multiple intelligences" in students, said Steve Berman. By combining lectures, "creative engagement" and hands-on applications, the Bermans are striving to make the high-demand, and sometimes intimidating, STEM subjects more appealing to all students and to have students retain what they learned.

For example, in the rocket workshop Aug. 13, students will discuss how rockets work and recent rocket launches. Then students will come up with ideas of different types of missions rockets can be used for, either acting out their idea or using Legos to create a scene that shows their mission idea. Finally, students will build straw or water rockets, combining everything they learned into practical application.

"It bridges connections between disciplines and allows kids to think outside of the box," said Anne about their teaching method.

The Bermans, who both have experience teaching and researching and are trained as LEGO Education Academy teacher trainers, originally developed their approach several years ago while working in California. They started a company, DIGIVATIONS, to spread their curriculum, responding to what they saw as a lack of programs for kids that combined sciences with artistic expression. They started teaching classes and workshops to students and teachers in both California and British Columbia.

Recently, the couple decided they wanted to bring the educational workshops to "under resourced" communities, so they formed the nonprofit DIGIVATIONS Institute, and started targeting Western Washington.

The nonprofit recently received a NASA mini-grant for nearly $2,500 to bring workshops to northwest Washington, specifically Point Roberts.

About 200 groups across the country received the grants this year, with the goal to "infuse" NASA-themed science, technology, engineering and math topics and activities into programs for middle-school students.

The Point Roberts workshops are technically designed for students in grades 4 through 9; however, younger students with an adult are welcome because the curriculum and materials are easily adapted for different ages.


What: DIGIVATIONS Institute summer workshops.

Where: Point Roberts Community Center, 1487 Gulf Road.

When: Saturdays of Aug. 6 (robotics), 13 (rocketry) and 20 (earth and space ecosystems/hydrology).

Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost: $10 registration fee and $10 material fee.

Registration: Click here.

Teachers interested in learning more about the nonprofit's methods are invited to attend hour-long trainings before each workshop.

For more information about the workshops, or how teachers can get involved, call 360-543-5641.

Reach KIRA M. COX at or call 715-2266. Visit her School Days blog at or get updates on Twitter at