The STEM-Law Education Initiative is a very unique approach to teaching kids about the Law using real-world solution-development, coupled with STEM exploration. Students learn best when what is being taught is relevant and they can see how it relates to them. Authority figures, individual choices, and rules are common issues for kids. STEM-Law introduces kids to how law enforcement uses STEM to solve criminal matters. The courses teach kids about the law, their rights and to understand that privileges are important. The course keeps kids engaged by using science and engineering experiments. Teachers enjoy the course as lessons extend classroom instruction and integrate reading, writing, and mathematics with a hands on-learning experiences. We take our responsibility to serve our community seriously- as serious as a crime. The STEM-Law Education Initiative is unlike any other in the United States as we provide STEM instruction grounded in the legal field to delivery a very unique service to youth who may have never been introduced otherwise. This initiative is unlike any other STEM program in the United States, as it is founded in academic research focused on influencing job placement and the employee pipeline of youth to the STEM careers found in the Legal industry (STEM-L).
M. ED, M. HR, PMP, CMAP
BROOKE TAYLOR, ESQ.
JENNIFER TAYLOR DAMES, PHD
Michael Edwards is an US Army Officer (Retired), and the founder of The Business Coach: Leadership and Achievement Academy, a non-profit organization established to actively engage youth through academic programs, sport activities, and career development opportunities. He holds a M. Education Administration, Curriculum and Supervision, and M. Human Resource Management, and is currently completing his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. Michael is also a business management consultant and is the summer camp’s program manager overseeing the youth mentorship component.
“Coach Mike”, as he is affectionately known, uses basketball instruction as an opportunity to help student athletes learn both on the court and in the classroom. These courses help students increase their self-confidence and leadership excellence. Additionally, he teaches SAT/ACT prep classes, conducts college tours, and provides courses for parents to identify college scholarships and understand financial eligibility requirements.
Attorney Brooke Taylor has years of successful legal representation and received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Richmond School of Law. Professionally, Brooke’s legal career began as a Legal Fellow in the Richmond, Virginia Office of the Public Defender, conducting effective client and witness interviews eliciting critical information to develop the strongest cases for her clients. She is a top-notch and book-savvy researcher enjoying the application of case law and applicable code to achieve a continuing successful court rate.
Brooke oversees relationship management with our STEM-L professionals. As an attorney in the Commonwealth and a graduate of the University of Richmond’s Law School, she has a strong base to leverage from an academic perspective. Coupled with her past experiences and her established relationship with Richmond’s legal network, she directs the STEM-L professional experience.
Jennifer leads the team’s curriculum development, program funding, and expansion efforts. With over 15 years in education, Jennifer oversees instruction, ensuring that our modules meet high academic standards in accordance with the rigor required for entry into the STEM pipeline. She specializes in K-12 STEM engagement and has extensive experience with designing and managing programs that offer awareness of STEM disciplines and careers. She has also thoroughly researched factors that promote and inhibit STEM pipeline entry for underrepresented minority students in secondary and post-secondary settings.
Jennifer brings a wealth of educational experience related to pedagogy and instructional methodology. She also brings the ability to execute educational programs and understands the needs of students from underserved backgrounds to this team.
2017 Co-Recipient of the 2017 Ford Driving Dreams grant to provide technology, coding and programming instruction to Latina students in the Richmond Virginia Public School System
MATHSCIENCE INNOVATION CENTER (MSiC)
2017 Co-Recipient of the TECHNOLOSchicas Technology grant to provide coding, gaming and programming instruction to Latina Middle school youth
ENGAGE THE FOUNDATION
2017-ongoing relationship to develop an Emergency Response STEM Program to teach youth how STEM is used to save lives in the event of an emergency
RICHMOND PUBLIC SCHOOL
June 2016 – Hosted week-long STEM-Law Summer Camp at Mary Munford Elementary School
June 2017 – Sponsored Forensics UnCut Workshop at Manchester Middle School teaching 120 kids how Law Enforcement officials use STEM to solve crimes
RICHMOND PARKS AND RECREATION
Summer 2016 – Sponsored STEM-Law Forensic Camp for elementary and middle-school age youth on fingerprinting, crime scene analysis and legal argument
VCU DEPARTMENT OF FORENSICS
2016 – current Continued relationship with undergraduate and graduate students to participate in learning through service. VCU students provide leadership and instruction to kids
VCU SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
2016 – current VCU School of Engineering served as the host facility for our 2017 Winter Camp with NSBE; 72 kids graduated from this 8 week program with the Richmond Police Department, VCU and the VA Department of Forensic Science
NATIONAL SOCIETY OF BLACK ENGINEERS (NSBE)
2017- current – Co-hosted Winter 2017 Forensics Camp at VCU with NSBE and celebrated 72 graduates, 15 VCU students and multiple community stakeholders
KAPPA ALPHA PSI FRATERNITY INC.
2005 – current ; continued partnership for youth development and mentorship; Michael Edwards serves as Region 2 NSBE Liaison for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC)
LULAC (LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS)
Partnered with LULAC to deliver multiple STEM programs; LULAC is, the oldest surviving Latino civil rights organization in the U.S., to deliver multiple inclusive programs to increase Latina HS graduation rates
RICHMOND POLICE DEPARTMENT
2016 – currently partnering with Richmond Police Department Communiity Outreach program to provide expertise in how law enforcement officials work with STEM experts to solve crimes and keep communities safe
PETERSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT
2016 – 2016 – currently partnering with Petersburg Major Crime Division to demonstrate how police officials secure crime scenes and work with Forensic Scientist to solve crimes
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF FORENSIC SCIENCE
2017 – currently DFS provides the STEM-Law program subject matter expertise to our youth programs as one of the most-recognized nationally accredited forensic laboratory system in the US.