Flags Up Raceway is a S.T.E.M. program that takes place right in the community. In 2017, six teams of 4th – 5th graders, and middle school kids were tasked with building soapbox cars for a period of six weeks; and then competing with each other in a race in the very cars that they had built! Two of the teams built their cars here in Oliver at the Oliver Center. Most of the Oliver students who participated, are Bernard Harris Elementary School students. The program instills Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) principles that enable children to take an idea from concept and vision, to a tangible and real world product. The children who participated in this program were very committed to building the cars, and very excited every step of the way. One Saturday when the kids were told that they may have to come an extra day, perhaps after school, they all cheered! It was a joy to see this level of excitement for learning! Flags Up Raceway is the brainchild of Kirsten Allen, pictured below, grew up in Oliver and now runs a non-profit here called Meraki Community Uplift. Kirsten is doing things in the community in a big way, and I am looking forward to what else this young lady has up her sleeve! Keep your eyes peeled because there is so much more to come! Additionally, Kirsten has planted a community garden where she nurtures The Seedling Program, working with schools to expose children to growing their own food.
If you would like to learn more about Meraki Community Uplift or any of its flagship programs, visit merakicommunityuplift.org.