LIFT Providing STEM Kits to Detroit Students During School Closures

Kits will continue to engage students with advanced manufacturing activities while schools, LIFT Learning Lab remain closed

DETROIT – LIFT, the Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute, announced today that it is distributing kits to local students to keep them learning and engaged in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities as schools remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The kits, made available with the support of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, are being sent to students who were actively learning at the LIFT Learning Lab during the 2019-20 school year from UPrep Science & Math High School, Detroit Edison Public Schools Academy (DEPSA) and Western International High School.

Teachers from the three schools are able to select from three available kits for their students:

  • Arduino Starter Kit: Students will learn the basics of Arduino including basic electronics, electronic circuits, and software. They will also build projects on a breadboard to connect to an Arduino.
  • Paper Circuit Starter Kit: Students will learn about electricity creating simple, series, and parallel circuits and then building models of traffic lights, electrical grids, doorbells, etc. while learning about electricity.
  • Newton’s Laws Kit: Students will learn about Newton’s laws of motion.  By building different models including a catapult, a collision car, balloon powered plan, and others, students will study the effects of kinetic and potential energy, forces, motion, acceleration, momentum, and the properties of energy.

“Helping engage students while schools and the Learning Lab remain closed is crucial, and may make the difference between keeping students motivated to pursue STEM careers,” said Kevin Kerrigan, vice president of business development, LIFT. “We know all of our schools are adapting to remote learning and these kits will help them in making that change.”

Students from UPrep had been at the Learning Lab every day this school year participating in LIFT’s IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing curriculum prior to the state-mandated school closures. DEPSA students used the lab to complete their designs for additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – prototypes related to improving hip and knee prosthetics, car engines and computer hardware to complete their International Baccalaureate (IB) program projects. Western International High School students had toured the lab and learned more about CNC, welding and other advanced manufacturing careers.

Previously during the pandemic, LIFT connected the ReMADE institute with executives at both Ford and General Motors to support the production of ventilators. LIFT then joined with IACMI to consolidate and donate their personal protective equipment (PPE) to nearby Community Health and Social Services (CHASS) Center. LIFT followed up by 3D printing hundreds of faceshields and N95 masks, and supported a group of over 200 volunteers to make cloth face masks for the local residents. Additionally, LIFT worked closely with the University of Michigan to design and engineer an innovative ventilator valve to allow one ventilator to serve two patients.


LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is the Detroit-based, public-private partnership between the Department of Defense, industry and academia, committed to the development and deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies, and implementing talent development initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit or follow on LinkedIn at LIFT or on Twitter @NewsFromLIFT to learn more.