STEAM educator/entrepreneurs William Wells, Jr., and Michael Rendler: a conversation on community development

William Wells, Jr., and Michael Rendler, educator/entrepreneurs in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, architecture, math), discuss working with students to achieve and sustain community development in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

William Wells, Jr., is founder and Executive Director of aSTEAM Village, which exists to inspire students and families to pursue education and career pathways in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM), through community-based project learning and innovative programs. ​Mr. Wells is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and a graduate of The Tuck School Business at  Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

The aSTEAM Village vision is of Kansas City as a connected community that adopts STEM/STEAM Education as a pathway to achieve ones individual dreams and prosperity in the 21st Century global economies of today’s world. It sees public and private schools utilize expanded learning programs like aSTEAM Village as carpool lanes that can provide supplemental education and social programs by becoming champions of community-based learning.

​aSTEAM Village is a 501(c)3 organization that focuses on engaging students, families, and educators in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) pathways to facilitate career and education readiness for participation in the 21st Century economy of today and tomorrow.

Michael Rendler has been working with William Wells, with aSTEAM our students and endeavors in Kansas City for the past 6 years. Michael has taught at various Community Colleges and State Universities in Architecture, CAD/BIM and GIS since 1999. He started his innovative understanding of computer-aided design for the built environment in 1981. His architectural work – projects such as the Venable House and Mariposa Apartment Buildings which has been published in international and national magazines.

In 1987, Michael partnered with Glen Small (founder of the Biosphere) and ran a successful practice in the City of Santa Monica for more than 10 years. During this period, they built structural innovation and spectacular systems, which caught Hollywood’s attention, culminating with “Idol House.” In 1994, he had an installation at the Los Angeles Gallery “LA SEMILLA” (SEED), which gained the attention of the press and the field of higher education. During this installation, he investigated the connection between urban spaces and the neighborhood that need empowered by technology. Rendler was a keynote speaker at the 2009 National AIA with “Putting It ALLTogether, WhatTools, Which Process.” With local student talent and as part of a high-tech team, he designed the LACCD e7 Architecture Studio to produce the largest geospatial repository and scientific visualization tools that support decision making for a building’s life cycle.

Michael Rendler is a national leader with the buildingSMART Alliance, working on how to implement new technologies in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Owner-operated (AECO) world. He is also working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Safe School project to virtualize educational environments following national standards, energy demands and first-response scenarios. In 1982 he graduated from SCI ARC (Southern California Institute of Architecture), Rendler holds an architectural license in California.


Host/producer:  Donna Morrow Wolfe

Co-host: Karen E. Griffin

Share This Episode