PressFriends is an organization that works to help middle school and elementary school students improve their writing with the help of trained high school students. After participating as mentors in a few centralized PressFriends events, the Nerd Herd was inspired to begin hosting their own STEM related events.

PressFriends at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

CMA (Cabrillo Marine Aquarium) Kids News is a four day summer camp hosted at Cabrillo Marine aquarium. Several team members have helped mentor students at this event. This camp gives elementary students the opportunity to interview the Aquarium staff, visit the various parts of the aquarium, and write articles about all of it.

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PressFriends at The Egyptian Theater

On May fourth 2013, PressFriends mentors (including our very own members) and students attended the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood for the Return of the Jedi’s 30th anniversary. Students watched the entire Return of the Jedi movie and listened to speakers from Entertainment Weekly and Lucasfilm. The students then went back to USC to write articles about the movie and their interviews.

PressFriends at USC

In 2014, a few Team 687 members became PressFriends mentors and attended an event at USC in which they helped students write articles. The team hopes to start a chapter at CAMS that will specialize in writing about STEM-related topics.


On Saturday, March 8th and Saturday, March 15th of 2014, the Nerd Herd hosted the STEM Comes FIRST PressFriends workshop. Mentors from the Nerd Herd hosted students from a STEM focused elementary school, on the CAMS campus, for two days full of fun STEM related projects.

March 8th: Protect the egg Protective parachute ??

With the assistance of mentors, the students were able to create parachutes. These parachutes were then put to the test by placing eggs in them and dropping them from the CSUDH library balcony. After the drop, the students then wrote newspaper articles about their experience and the STEM principles they learned. Once all the writing was done, the students left with their parachutes in hand and their articles ready to be printed.

March 15th: Boats and Density

To start the workshop, the students were prepped on the science and basic STEM principles behind boats. Next they were given a variety of materials and were allowed to make a boat of their design, while keeping in mind the science behind boats. When their boats were finally complete, the students each took turns testing them. As the mentors placed pennies on their boats to test whose would hold the most, the students watched excitedly hoping their boat would win. This allowed for the students to see firsthand how mass and volume affect density. After a close tie for first and second, the students wrote articles about their projects. As an added treat, the students also got to see the Nerd Herd’s 2013 FRC robot, and learn about the team structure and design process.