Our Education project is part of ENME 3820, Design Thinking in the Community. The course overview and information on similar projects may be found at:
The course merges design thinking, human centered design, and engineering design concepts with community service and outreach. Our class is working to solve real world problems that impact society using a design thinking approach. Our team is working towards identifying a design challenge in education and working with schools to learn about current needs and potential solutions.
Plan to Change Education
As a group searching for real problems in need of innovative solutions, each of our team members resonated specifically with issues of education. Though our team all came from different backgrounds, we each had a desire to improve issues within education. Ideas of better education, better attentiveness towards learning disabilities, better safety within schools were all dilemmas that interested the team. Yet upon the team spending time at schools talking to educators and students we came upon an adversity we chose to tackle.
There is a large drop off in interest in STEM around middle and high school and re-activating that passion will help students better focus on those subjects. One way to spark that interest again could be facilitating professionals (from college students to engineering professionals) to share what they do on a daily basis with students.
How might we provide more opportunities to spark middle and high school students’ interest in STEM.
Our team plans to connect schools to local professionals (STEM based college students, professors and professionals) to positively capture the interest of middle school students at a key point in their learning. Hopefully this can allow students to see the applicability of STEM as directly applying to professions, and foster greater involvement on the long term.
How Is This Relevant
Intrest in middle school has a profound impact on learning capabilities and for our society and job market down the road. With industries such as science technology as well as business growing massively, it is important that these subject matters are taught well and that students from a young age see the value, applicability, and FUN in these subjects.