Week One of Creating S.T.E.A.M. 2017!

We wanted to provide you and update on the CreatingSTEAM program and our first week summary. Week one was a big success, students arrive by bus each day from Long Island to the Microsoft facility in Times Square NYC.  The students join with other students from the NY Metro area, coming in from NJ and the NYC communities.

Week One provided an immersive learning experience to set the students up for success as they lead into week two of project development. Students have experienced learning to code, building websites, building PCs, team collaboration through competitive gamified learning, integration of coding with robotics, learning to utilize Microsoft Office 365, mastering Windows 10, learning Linux command line coding to script a humanoid robot to stand, and so much more. Each day ends with reflection about their learning and providing feedback to our team and their mentors.  They utilize digital tools to reflect through either a mind map or through Microsoft OneNote, and conclude the day with guest speakers during our career panel discussions.

Students are building awareness and confidence in their knowledge of career paths in STEAM and the skills necessary to compete for roles. This is an entrepreneur experience that helps students discover their strengths and challenge them to stretch outside their comfort zone to learn. Failure is a key factor for their success in this program, as we push them beyond their limits to demonstrate when learning occurs. We teach the importance of failure as a part of the learning program and they see firsthand the emotion that is created when you solve a problem and learn through failure.

Every program we deliver is designed with teams of students who are intentionally diverse across age, gender, as well as social economic backgrounds.  This program is no different, and you can see from the images just how diverse the groups are.  We know through research as well as our own experience how powerful having diverse teams can be.  We see the results directly in the innovative projects that the students produce.  

Here are a couple of quotes from students participating as well as from a teacher who is volunteering for the full 10 days as a mentor/coach.  The feedback comes in each day so I thought it would be helpful to see the progression of the feedback.  The students also take an assessment before and after the program, as a research organization it is critical to evaluate the students experience prior, during, and post the program.

Student feedback – Day 1-5

"Today was awesome, I had a very nice time meeting new people. I found out I had a lot in common with many people, which is rare. Brainstorming with my team was very fun. Together, we came up with many innovative ideas. I look forward to the next 9 days."

"Today was really fun because I had never done coding before, so it was really cool. I really enjoyed learning how to program using Visual Studio Code."

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"Today was an amazing experience that challenged the brain greatly. Especially the sphere project tired everyone out mentally. Building a PC was interesting and fun and I will definitely think about using that in a future career. "

"I enjoyed learning how to use WordPress and will definitely use it in the future. The bridge building exercise was fun and it taught me a lot about architecture and collaboration. "

"I really enjoyed the speakers we had today, they were charismatic and informative.  Speakers like that really help me get a better insight into what I want to do in my future."

Teacher feedback: Mentor/Coach Training Day 1

 "I had a very vague understanding about this program prior to today (what it stood for and what it offered, aside from the knowledge that it was project-based and STEM-based). I greatly enjoyed the fact that mentor exposure to the details of the program was directed by a true appreciation for independent learning. The push to "disrupt" education and the student-centric model is refreshing, inspiring and wonderfully applicable to the classroom ( a setting that is too often wrought with uninspired "teaching to the test" expectations). Although teachers try to combat this with creative approaches, there is fear at the notion of a complete overhaul (even when its sensed that is what students and the climate need). I love the building block projects that are both approachable and fun, as well as the tools we've been exposed to and taught to operate. The creators of this program believe in it, because they are motivated by "social goodness" (and have seen exceptional participant results that only further drive the cause), which they have modeled for their students in like . Thank you!"

Link to view all the images from week one


We need your help. How can you support our efforts?

Judges: We are seeking judges for our final day 7/28 to judge the student projects.  The time commitment is from 1-4pm, students will begin presenting at 1:30 pm and wrap at 3:30 pm.  We announce the winners just before 4 pm and close out the program by 4 pm. We ask judges to arrive by 1:00 to begin viewing the students projects and prepare of the presentations.  This is an incredible opportunity to see firsthand the impact this program has on students. If you know of someone interested please have them reach out to us at events@we-connect-the-dots.org.

Team Prizes: We are seeking donations for our first - third place team prizes. The students work hard to develop their projects in many cases working outside of the program hours collaborating virtually as a team.  We would like to acknowledge their efforts through small prizes that help to recognize and inspire them to continue learning.  If you or someone you know can support us through a direct donation please go to http://we-connect-the-dots.org/donate/ 

To learn more about this program and our organization please visit our social media sites.

See the live videos from the week- visit our Facebook page - Please like our page


Learn more about our organization -Youtube channel


Thank you to our volunteers, Mentors/Coaches, Guest Speakers and our Host Microsoft for supporting our organization.

Program Sponsored by:

AuthorLaurie Carey