Gelfand STEM Army

The Gelfand STEM Army is a group of CWRU undergraduate and graduate student volunteers prepared to participate in short term science, engineering, and/or math related events such as school STEM days, science and engineering demonstrations, science and engineering fair judging, campus visits, and other pre-college STEM programs on campus and in the community. Both individual students and student organizations are welcome to join the STEM Army. Any student organization interested in receiving announcements about volunteer opportunities through the Gelfand STEM Army program is asked to identify a designated contact person who then forwards the information to the other members of their organization.

How does the program work? Whenever the Gelfand STEM Center receives a request for student volunteers, we distribute an announcement through our email network. If sufficient numbers of individual students or student groups demonstrate interest, the Gelfand STEM Center  confirms university participation and recruits a point of contact from among the volunteeers to coordinate directly with the requesting organization. In addition, we are able to provide some transportation to off campus events for those who need it.

To join the army as an individual or group, contact us at or call (216) 368-5075. 


Gelfand Fellows

A major component of the Gelfand Science, Engineering, and Maker Fair program is the Gelfand Fellows program. Gelfand Science and Engineering Fellows are available to mentor K-12 students as they plan, prepare, implement, and present their independent research projects. Gelfand Fellows are CWRU undergraduate and graduate students trained to work with K-12 students in project development, experimental design, data analysis, and data presentation. All Gelfand Fellows have passed both BCI and FBI background checks and have successfully completed a 9-hour training program that provides tools and strategies for working with students at every stage of the project process.

Any building designated as a “high needs school” in Cuyahoga County may request the services of Gelfand Fellows. Recruitment for this paid position is in the fall semester each year with the bulk of the work taking place between November and February.

Contact Jim Bader for more information (; (216) 368-5289)


Gelfand Engineering and Technology Education Fund

The Gelfand Engineering and Technology Education Fund run through the Case School of Engineering supports engineering outreach activities targeting preK-12 students and teachers.

CWRU student groups interested in accessing funds to support preK-12 engineering outreach should submit a grant proposal to the Gelfand STEM Center. Electronic copies of the proposal should be sent to Grant proposals can be submitted at any time during the year and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Where necessary, prior to a decision being made, meetings may be convened with STEM Center staff to discuss the grant proposal in more detail. Proposals will initially be reviewed by the Gelfand STEM Center staff. If proposals advance to the second round, they will be presented at a STEM Center Executive Council meeting. Proposals will be reviewed and a decision made within 3 months of submittal. Proposals that are recommended by the Executive Council and STEM Center staff will be forwarded to the CSE Dean or Dean’s designee for final approval, at which point funds will be released.

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • The proposal’s ability to support activities and training for prek-12 teachers and/or students to promote engineering educational programming
  • To proposal’s ability to achieve the desired long-term impact on the teachers and/or prek-12 students
  • The proposal’s ability to strengthen partnerships with existing community stakeholders and youth groups
  • The proposal’s ability to strengthen partnerships with internal CWRU community members (e.g. faculty, staff, students, centers, etc.)
  • The proposal’s activities encourage inquiry and STEM exploration and engage students in hands-on activities that have been demonstrated to be effective, e.g. design challengeso Do the proposed activities address best practices in STEM education?
  • The proposal’s ability to leverage fiscal and non-fiscal resources in order to enhance the proposed activities
  • The proposal’s ability to support proposal development for NSF, NIH, DARPA and other funding sources with defined preK-12 objectives
  • The quality of the intended evaluation plan, including the metrics to be evaluated and the timeline for evaluation

Award amounts and availability

We encourage collaboration and leveraging of fiscal and non-fiscal resources to support the proposed project. Award amounts typically range from $100 – $5,000, with an occasional larger award. The intent of this program is to directly support CWRU student activities, such as materials, supplies and event costs. Funds can be used to pay the hourly wages of CWRU students directly supporting the activities. However, support of faculty and staff salaries will not be allowed.

Contact Me’lani Joseph for more information (; (216) 368-1651)