Chats also give parents and caregivers a chance to ask questions about helping their children explore their interest in STEM, from home learning to college preparation.
To further expand learning, families are invited to record and post videos of their activities via FlipGrid, an online learning app. They can log in any time to share progress updates on their weekly activities and see how fellow academy participants are experimenting.
“The families can try the activity at home and see how other families are doing with their challenge throughout the week on FlipGrid," said Don Wittrock, program coordinator in the college’s Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement, which is coordinating the academy. “By watching other families’ results, they can get ideas to tweak it, alter it, to continue to explore.”
Wittrock hopes the format will create a meaningful alternative to the cooperative learning that would be taking place if students and their families were in person together, witnessing each other’s different problem-solving strategies.
The program aims to help students develop strong problem-solving skills and make connections between engineering and the real world, he said.
“The goal is to provide engagement opportunities with the faculty, show what goes on at the college and hopefully, inspire young people to be engineers,” Wittrock said.
Families can register now online for free to receive weekly mission packets, virtual event links and instructions to access to the academy’s FlipGrid.