Holiday Spirit – Giving Back Locally

Again in 2017 the EWB PMP chapter members were invited to share their holiday spirit by donating gifts and/or cash to complete a list of needs for a local refugee family. We chose to work with the refugee family we helped in 2016 – Ali, Nabaa and their 3-yesr-old triplets Yusif, Howra and Zahra.

The Kadhim family immigrated to Portland from Baghdad, Iraq because they were threatened by their association with American contractors there. The father, Ali, is a civil engineer. He currently works at LL Bean and is taking classes to obtain his Maine PE license. The mother, Nabaa, is a math professor who taught at the University of Baghdad. In August 2014, she gave birth prematurely to triplets –  two girls and a boy. She has been at home with the children because day care is very costly and they’ve had developmental challenges due to their prematurity. Nabaa hopes to resume teaching math once they are ready for school.

Our EWB chapter was able to provide $75 in gas cards, $180 in Hannaford gift cards, and all of the items for the children on Nabaa’s list except an iPad. When we visited, we opened the children’s toys – many of which are to be shared among the 3 – soft building blocks, puzzle blocks, coloring books and fat crayons (for little hands), Play Dough and plastic cutters, etc. The children were just spinning with delight!!

The triplets continue to make great developmental progress as they move toward their 4th birthdays. Their mom became an American citizen in 2017. She volunteers mornings at Reiche school in Portland while the children are in pre-school. Their dad continues to wait for his citizenship status to be confirmed. He is also studying to take the PE exam. The family is working very hard to improve their living conditions. EWB PMP is delighted to share the spirit of giving during the holidays with the Kadhim family!


STEM Outreach

Festival of Curiosity Sign

EWB-PMP has  been active in the Greater Portland community through partnership with the Portland Middle School STEM program, as well as other middle schools in Southern Maine, to introduce students to our projects and engineering concepts.

During 2016 we continued our outreach work by engaging with middle school students at Greely Middle School (SAD 51) where we presented our Dorgobom, Ghana water project to augment their African studies unit.

In the spring of 2017, we presented the Dorgobom project to Yarmouth Middle School students. We collaborated with Rosalee Lamm, a Portland High School physics teacher, to present the Dorgobom project to her seniors. We continue to collaborate with Portland High School and Rosalee’s classes.

In June 2017 we participated in Cape Elizabeth Middle School’s “Festival of Curiosity”, which was a “STEAM-inspired Event” – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math. EWB PMP had an information table and a water bucket carrying challenge for the students, which was very popular.

EWB Crayons

In the fall of  2017 we again presented to Greely Middle School students, using a new presentation of our ongoing Ethiopia school project. Our presentation again augmented their African studies unit.

We also participated in an “Explore Tech” exhibit at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, which was part of a traveling exhibit to explore how engineering provides solutions to better meeting human needs and develops sustainable innovations for the future. It featured hands-on activities for all age groups and was open to the public. EWB PMP’s activity was very popular – build a structure with gumdrops and toothpicks!

EWB Gumdrops

We continue to reach out to area schools to present our projects as part of their STEM activities with middle school and high school students.





Portland Adult Ed

cl1 - CopyWe have also been assisting Portland Adult Education in helping immigrant and refugee engineers who’ve moved here from other countries determine any training and/or certification requirements that might be necessary in order to obtain engineering-related jobs here in Maine.