Promoting STEAM in our communities as a path from middle school through College

Promoting STEAM in our communities as a path from middle school through College

By Marcelo Caplan

It was made very explicit and clear by members of all the branches of our society that we need citizens that will be able to interact and solve problems that we are not aware of them today. One way to motivate our youth to be prepared for this uncertain future, is to provide them with the possibility to choose an education path that will lead them to acquire the contents and skills needed to be productive citizens in this future society. For these reasons, the acquisition of Sci-ence Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) contents and skills are paramount in the learning path of our teens. As research shows, our inner city teens are not choosing careers in STEAM for multiple reasons, one of them is because they are not aware of these careers, as well as the potential these STEAM subjects and careers have to improve their quality of life.

For this reason, the Science and Mathematics Department at Columbia College Chicago developed a path to show and lead our teens in the subjects of STEAM and related professions from middle school to college. The goal of this path is to motivate students, started from middle school, to investigate the STEAM fields and STEAM career opportunities, as a possibility to continue their education in college.

The path starts with the middle school program, Scientists for Tomorrow, (www.scientistsfortomorrow.org) designed to provide students with a vast range of STEAM experiences from exploring alternative energies, engineering design, the relation between mathematics, and music, introduction to robotics and many more STEAM related subjects. These mid-dle school age programs are taking place in several community centers and are being developed and implemented as a collaboration between Columbia College Chicago and many Community Based Organizations, between them Family Fo-cus, Enlace Chicago, The Erie Neighborhood House and others.

IAN Newsletter Winter 2018