EI: Making + Mentoring: Integrating Computational Thinking into Informal 6-12 STEM Education
In many areas of the U.S. high school students have not been sufficiently prepared with the technical skills in manufacturing needed for obtaining available technical jobs. This project by Northcentral Technical College is located in a rural region of Wisconsin with many manufacturing companies desperate for engineers and skilled employees who have a science and engineering background.
The need for a scientific workforce has become vital to strengthening Wisconsin's economy, but recruiting qualified personnel has been increasingly challenging. High schools struggle to get students interested in higher education and to think of themselves as potential members of the technical, manufacturing workforce.
This project targets rural Wisconsin youth to provide them with learning opportunities and careers pathways associated with computer technology and engineering, both critical occupational areas across numerous industries.
Northcentral Technical College, in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, six community-based organizations, and four school districts, will engage and prepare teachers and students to meet this challenge.
As computing has become integral to the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the STEM + Computing program seeks to address emerging challenges in computational STEM areas through the applied integration of computational thinking and computing within disciplinary STEM teaching and learning from early childhood education through high school (preK-12).