SCENE @ CCSU: Children can ‘Tech It Out’ with CCSU summer programs
By Michele Dischino Assoc. Professor of Technology & Engineering Education | Posted: Sunday, December 4, 2016
Scene @ CCSU
In 2014, CCSU’s Office of Continuing Education launched its “Tech It Out!” summer programs for students entering grades 3–12.
Through a mix of tuition-based and sponsored seats, the programs have attracted students primarily from the Greater Hartford area, but also throughout Connecticut.
The “Tech It Out” classes leverage the expertise of CCSU’s faculty and alumni and provide a non-competitive environment where students of any technical skill level can develop their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competencies. Topics have included Android app and game programming; 2D and 3D modeling through game design, Minecraft and 3D printing; 3D computer modeling for animation and game design; remotely operated vehicles and robotics, including some all-girl sections; and programming with Python.
The primary goal is have youth participate in a variety of classes that do not require previous experience. Because our faculty are teachers, they can manage a room of kids with a variety of backgrounds. Next summer the Office of Continuing Education plans to add even more exciting options.
One of the newest offerings is “The Power to Move,” a weeklong program designed to raise awareness about disabilities and introduce students to a variety of assistive technologies. The program was developed collaboratively by faculty from two departments: Technology and Engineering Education, and Physical Education and Human Performance. The interdisciplinary nature of the topic and complementary backgrounds of its teaching staff allowed for participants to be exposed to several interrelated fields, including biomedical engineering, adapted physical education, biomechanics, and therapeutic recreation.
The program activities emphasized hands-on projects and experiential learning, all in the context of real-world problem solving. One of the program’s highlights was a field trip to Chapter 126, a sports and fitness facility for children and adults with disabilities.
Students also participated in “Go Baby Go!” learning to adapt and customize battery-powered toy cars for use by young children with mobility issues.
Continuing Education raised funding for the programs from numerous sponsors, including Whelen Engineering, Inc.; Stanley Black & Decker; Petit Family Foundation, Burns & McDonnell Foundation; Trumpf, Inc; Polamer Precision; and GKN Aerospace.
Central Connecticut State University will soon announce its summer 2017 offerings. As you think about options for your children next summer, check out all the Tech it Out programs by visiting: www.ccsu.edu/ConEd.
For sponsorship opportunities and registration information please contact Christa Sterling at (860) 832–2277 or [email protected]