In 2019, I served as the educational coordinator for the Opening Doors Grant – a federally funded initiative designed to introduce justice involved youth to STEM career pathways.
The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) Work Experience Program was an opportunity for students to explore creative and technical fields through hands-on personal and group projects, expert presentations, and self-directed learning. In addition to learning new tools and STEAM skills, students had the opportunity to develop general workplace skills including teamwork, time and project management, workplace communication, and shop safety.
Topics included robotics, drone building, 2D design, programming, soldering, and digital fabrication tools.
This program was intended to help students identify their interests as they relate to potential career paths and develop those interests through individualized projects that build relevant skills. Students were provided with an array of prototyping tools and corresponding safety trainings, personalized project development assistance, and access to a material and equipment budgets to realize their projects.