iCREAT (introduction to Coding, Robotics, Electronics And Technology): A Pathway to STEM Careers
Presented by: MassBay Community College
Strand: K-12 Education
The iCREAT program is an NSF funded project led by Massachusetts Bay Community College in collaboration with Boston College and other partners. The main goal of this project is to recruit, retain, and prepare students from underrepresented populations in STEM areas and provide them with the opportunity to enter a STEM career pathway.
The two 3-credit multidisciplinary iCREAT courses developed under this grant engage high school (juniors and seniors) and community college students in learning electronics, coding, and engineering design, networking, and cybersecurity topics through project-based approach guiding them toward a technical career pathway. iCREAT students receive support with career development from Boston College’s experts in this field as well as mentors (near-peer and professionals) via a web-based system (MentorNet), who provide invaluable advice.
We have partnered with area high schools: Framingham, Waltham, and Keefe Tech to recruit students. High school teachers and/or counselors collaborate as liaisons to identify and encourage interested students to attend iCREAT courses. We have found that students are interested in learning about coding and engineering and are very excited by the end result.
We welcome our exhibition visitors’ comments and suggestions on our project. Topics covered in iCREAT courses can be adapted in a variety of curriculums, such as: high school course or STEM club activity.
We will share our interdisciplinary project based teaching approach and an outline of course topics covered as well as examples of student work. We will share our teaching approach, curriculum topics, and what have we learned.