BHS Juniors Develop and Implement STEAM Kits for Students

BHS Juniors Develop and Implement STEAM Kits for Students
Syntax NY

Bronxville High School juniors Marcus Jun, Mason Lo and Gamunu Withana have created a nonprofit organization, Novelty Innovations, to catalyze and enhance students’ interests and abilities in STEAM. They’ve built STEAM kits that focus on permaculture, which is an approach to a self-regenerative ecosystem, to give back to more than 5,000 students in the New York City area.

“Our first kit, the ‘Hydro Harvests’ kit, is focused on permaculture, where students utilize as much soil and microgreen seeds as they see adequate to maximize the number of harvests,” Jun said. “Then, the kit will give a specific amount of water they should use twice that day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Students utilize our analytical portion, which is aligned with the newest science standards.”

Jun, who is the founder and executive director of Novelty Innovations, said he and his classmates were determined to use upcycled materials and niche tools to foster a hands-on experience. Their STEAM kits include an analytical sheet to allow users to build data collection skills, introduce them to the scientific method and allow them to reflect on their learning experience; a digital video that will take the user through how the kit should be created; tips on how to successfully ensure the first harvest; and knowledge about permaculture as a topic, as well as various microgreen seeds, soil and spray bottles.

“By presenting a conceptually difficult subject into its kit form, we allow the users to grasp these subjects with a tangible experience,” he said. “We wish to foster the knowledge of the younger generations through hands-on learning, dialing in on topics that are not touched in school curriculums that can be emulated through kits.”

With the support of their high school principal, Ann Meyer, math and entrepreneurship teacher Brian Halling and the generosity of the Bronxville School Foundation, the three students can impact the lives of thousands of children and engage them in STEAM activities. In addition, they’re partnering with NIA Community Services Network, a not-for-profit community service organization, to provide them with kits. The organization will host more than 16 summer camps with a total of 4,685 middle and elementary school students.

“Depending on how much money we can raise, we could serve as the basis of the NIA’s STEAM program is its entirety for potentially 4,685 students,” Jun said. “As I had participated in NIA when I lived in Brooklyn for my middle school, I.S. #239 Mark Twain, giving back to the program I once participated in is a full-circle experience.”

For more information on their project, visit their website at  and their GoFundMe page.