Build Cool Stuff is a new program for middle school students. By exploring student-generated problems, each group meets after school to engage in the engineering design process with STEM educators and volunteers. Following the pilot implementation across three school districts in spring of 2022, the program is expanding to other member school districts.
The program promotes the development of 21st Century skills (critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration) and provides meaningful mentorship for students. Educators and volunteers work as co-facilitators who support students in 6th through 8th grade as they learn more about:
- Brainstorming, decision-making, and teamwork
- Designing, testing prototypes, and real-world processes informed by engineering principles
- Career pathways, educational pathways, and other post-secondary opportunities
As part of an 8-week session, these experiences provide greater access to career connected learning for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and underserved middle school students. In doing so, we will strengthen the diversity of our regional workforce by engaging young learners from groups that are underrepresented in STEM fields. Build Cool Stuff reaches students through their everyday experiences and where they are at in their own schools, families, and communities.
Find Fall 2022 Session Resources Here
“I had some students that often find themselves marginalized due to disability or social standing find a very welcoming environment in the club and it was great to see them shine.”
“I saw joy for learning again in a time where that is rare.”