What is a STEAM & Global Citizenship Mentoring Model ?
Our STEAM and Global Citizenship Program is a sustainable framework offered to middle and high school girls during Out of School Time (OST) in informal learning environments.
The STEAM and Global Citizenship Program and a Mentoring-Model extension gives girls a lens for learning and experiencing STEAM through culture and hands-on, project-based learning. The students who successfully complete the Mentoring-Model extension of STEAM & Global Citizenship Program are candidate applicants for the STEAM and Global Citizenship Program annual trip. This program help leaners a) to nurture personal respect and respect for others; diversity and inclusion, b) encourages students to solve problems, make decisions, think critically, communicate ideas effectively and work well within teams and groups, c) learn by doing and by collaborating with others, and d) gain an understanding of how the world apply STEAM to create products, services and beautiful artifacts.
A STEAM & Global Citizenship Immersion Trip is very like a college abroad program, except on a much smaller scale that allow girls to explore STEAM using culturally relevant tools. Our girls will spend 10-15 days during their summer vacation visiting and learning about both domestic and global needs of another country. The girls will collaborate with their contemporaries to design, develop, and deploy two hands-on projects.
This program takes girls with amazing interest in STEAM and give them global experiences to make safe and new discoveries: not only about each others, but also about themselves, their communities, and their ability to situate and contextualize issues—local, national, and international––that affect their lives.
Two dynamic non-profit organizations, Strong TIES and Life Paradigms, Inc., joined forces to make a life changing impact in the lives of girls through a two-week immersion experience in Ghana Africa. Focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), African American girls fostered dialogue with their African contemporaries, cultivated an awareness of their global responsibilities and participated in hands-on projects that benefited the village they visited. By leveraging technology, we enabled global exchanges and conversations between middle and high school students who otherwise would not meet. Thereby promoting empathy, peace, and build 21st century workforce skills.
Our U.S. girls worked with two different groups of girls on STEAM projects. The first project involved our U.S. girls and Ghanaian girls in Nema, which is located in the city of Accra, Ghana. The second group of students comprised of our U.S. girls and Ghanaian in Kumasi, Ghana at St. Louis Senior High School. St. Louis is a prestigious all girls first-class academic center of excellence and boarding school. At both locations, the girls were given instructions for learning the foundations of electrical energy and were given practical hands-on projects. The girl’s collaboration in Nema led to the idea creation and design of mobile apps projects. The collaboration with the girls at St. Louis led to the design and making of mobile phone chargers.
The 2018 STEAM and Global Citizenship Mentoring Program involved 19 girls from May 6 - July 31, 2018. Over this period this cohort gained skills in three areas—Digital Competencies, Innovation, and Communication. The foundation of our program rest in Global STEAM, Global Competence, and Social Justice & Engagement.
Mentoring. This work began with sessions in February working with our partner institution, Cornell University. Approximately eight students received an invitation to apply for the Cornell University CURIE Academy set for July 2018. Two students who met the eligibility requirements responded with a strong interest to apply and received the mentorship by Dr. Loretta Cheeks. As a mentor to the students, Dr. Cheeks was actively involved in the application process, in the interface with Cornell University, in the funding for this learning experience and in the editing of their essays. The two students, Amanda Y. and Mugarineza “Mugi” Z were admitted to the CURIE Academy. The CURIE Academy is designed for high school juniors and seniors with an interest in engineering. The students traveled to Ithaca, NY for one week in July 2018. Both Amanda and Mugi were apart of this year’s program.
For eight weeks, which commenced in May 2018, our cohort met weekly for four hours on Sundays at Giant Coffee. They worked on a project focused on “seniors in our community—Do You Know About Our Ageing Population.” We explored the question Do you know who I am: Being a senior citizen in a technological age?” During the project, it was alarming to learn the majority of the young ladies did not know anyone over 70 years old. The significance of this project is substantial given in developed nations the aging population is out pacing children being born. Furthermore, this project gave the cohort an opportunity to meet individuals and learn about their life with the objective of gaining perspective about the life of our aging and learning to empathize with someone who is different.
• The cohort learned the basics of the Python programming language that gave them a tool for expressing data science (or statistical facts) as it relates to senior citizens.
• They conducted interviews to learn about the lives of seniors. The interviewees were from Fellowship Towers Assistant Living facility or family members.
• After interviewing senior citizens, four individuals were selected to research aspects of their lives. Table 1 identifies the senior citizens, aspects of their stories for learning about the seniors, and research teams.
• The students used the four individual’s lives to create Virtual Reality (VR) experiences that they said would be a joy to experience.
• The cohort final project included four (4) deliverable's that involved completion of the aging (and seniors) projects, presentation, programming challenge, and creating VR experiences.
Trip. The culmination of our program was an educational trip to Washington, DC (including neighboring Bowie, Maryland) and New York City, New York. During this time, our cohort developed mobile Apps that were design artifacts from our 2017 STEAM and Global Citizenship program in Ghana. As well, they visited national monuments and sites that were enlightening and educational. The days were long and full to capacity. Below is an account of our trip.
Where Have We Visited?
The inaugural trip was to Ghana, West Africa. Next we visited Bowie, Maryland, Washington, DC and New York City.
We have successfully impacted the lives of 95 girls in two years. This program is intended to broaden participation of girls entering STEAM disciplines, create global citizens, and give girls the tools for delivering solutions to critical-issues impacting the world.
How Much Does It Cost?
The costs for mentoring one student when doing international travels is approximately $5,000 and for domestic travels the investment is approximately $2600 for each young girl to participate in the program.
What is next?
In Summer 2019, USA girls will gain mentoring for eight weeks and participate in an educational trip in a really wonderful place in the world. They will collaborate and make STEAM hands-on projects with their contemporaries and visit amazing sites for gaining insights about STEAM in all things.
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