another amazing year!

CreatingSTEAM 2017 summary

Held at - Microsoft New York City - 11 Time Square

Students participated in a two week experiential learning program students gaining competencies in 21st century workforce skills and learning about STEAM career opportunities for today and in the future. Competencies that are integrated into the 10 day experience are, the Value of Lifelong Learning, Problem Solving, Self-Management, Teamwork, Collaboration On- and Offline, Information Media and Technology Skills, ICT Learning, Knowledge construction, Leaderships, Life and Career Skills.

Students ranged from age 13-18 years old.  We have teachers join us each year to experience our program. The intention is to help bring new and exciting teaching experiences to our schools each year by helping teachers integrate technology into the classroom. Here is what one of this years participants share regarding the program.

"I had a very vague understanding about this program prior to today (what it stood for and what it offered, aside from the knowledge that it was project-based and STEM-based). I greatly enjoyed the fact that mentor exposure to the details of the program was directed by a true appreciation for independent learning. The push to "disrupt" education and the student-centric model is refreshing, inspiring and wonderfully applicable to the classroom ( a setting that is too often wrought with uninspired "teaching to the test" expectations). Although teachers try to combat this with creative approaches, there is fear at the notion of a complete overhaul (even when its sensed that is what students and the climate need). I love the building block projects that are both approachable and fun, as well as the tools we've been exposed to and taught to operate. The creators of this program believe in it, because they are motivated by "social goodness" (and have seen exceptional participant results that only further drive the cause), which they have modeled for their students in like . Thank you!"

Our goal is always a balanced ratio of diverse students attending the conference. We create an environment that teaches students the value and importance of diversity in working in teams to innovate for our future. Students have the opportunity to learn about the latest technology initiatives in the industry and how those initiatives will create innovation and new career opportunities. Our parents are involved in the conference on the last day so that we ensure the support and understanding of the opportunities for our students as they engage with their parents around career ideas.

 
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This years DIVERSITY ratio

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Students are building awareness and confidence in their knowledge of career paths in STEAM and the skills necessary to compete for roles. This is an entrepreneur experience that helps students discover their strengths and challenge them to stretch outside their comfort zone to learn. Failure is a key factor for their success in this program, as we push them beyond their limits to demonstrate when learning occurs. We teach the importance of failure as a part of the learning program and they see firsthand the emotion that is created when you solve a problem and learn through failure.

Each year the Microsoft Flag-Ship store on Madison Ave hosts our students to explore the new technologies. This year students had the opportunity to speak to staff about the career roles within the Microsoft store.  Students were able to experience the Microsoft HoloLens, as well as a number of mixed reality devices. For many students this experience is a once in a life time opportunity, one that will inspire them to imagine how they might be a part of shaping innovation in their future. in a life time opportunity, one that will inspire them to imagine how they might be a part of shaping innovation in their future.

This year we introduced a new two hour activity to CreatingSTEAM, to teach skills in cybersecurity, as well as bring awareness to the fastest growing career opportunity in information technology. This activity was first introduced in our Discovery Day program this past spring, where over 500 students participated in our "Unlock The Box". This cybersecurity experience took place in our online Yammer community where students engaged in a scavenger hunt to solve clues related to cybersecurity.  The students worked in teams to unlock four locks, each lock was tied to a scenario around teaching students about Attack Vectors, and the importance of good digital citizenship. 

Many students are missing the opportunity to imagine the 21st century workplace and their place in the future economy. CreatingSTEAM provided another year’s cohort of promising young individuals an authentic collaborative team problem solving experience centered around the critical skill of social entrepreneurship. Working in the Microsoft facility, in environments designed for collaboration, these students imagined a place for themselves in a future filled with opportunities for meaningful personal advancement and social contribution.  This opportunity to discover their passions, to experience the challenges first hand, inspired them to commit their scientific and entrepreneurial minds towards creating a better future.  

On the final day there was a great deal of anticipation. The students had stretched themselves beyond their comfort zone to learn new technologies and to create their prototype business plan. Through these ten days, our students overcame challenges and failure, learning that failure creates a hunger to succeed, and that without failure we cannot improve. Our students made new connections to industry experts, to students with diverse values and passions, and gained a glimpse into what might be possible for them in their future. This was the time for our students to celebrate, to show the world their capabilities and accomplishments, and to demonstrate their confidence and competence in solving problems as a team. Given the right coaching, the right motivation, and the right environment to explore, these future scientists and entrepreneurs demonstrated their creativity, their drive, and above all, that individually they were strong and collectively, they could change the world.

A Thank You to everyone who was involved in making this year's program a success. Without the support of our volunteers, this program would not be possible. 

To all our participants: this summer program was an investment in you. You should be proud of your accomplishments! We congratulate you and we look forward to seeing you again at our future programs! Below are the top 3 teams from CreatingSTEAM 2017.

Third Place Wining Team

Third Place Winning Team

Second Place Winning Team

Second Place Winning Team

First Place Winning Team

First Place Winning Team