CreatingSTEAM FAQ

 

Who is We Connect The Dots? 

  • We Connect The Dots is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides young people with the tools and education they need to access careers of the 21st century. Our mission is to excite, inform and educate students about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) careers.  Through a collaboration with the community, education, government and the technology industry, WCTD provides awareness and education of the 21st Century workforce skills, as well as the opportunities available to students embracing STEAM careers.  Impacting students at a local, national and global level, our programs create a hunger for learning that empowers students to find their own paths to success.  

How long has We Connect The Dots been operating? 

  • We Connect The Dots has been in operation since August of 2013.  

How long has this program existed? 

  • We Connect The Dots has been delivering this program for four years. This is our fifth year delivering the CreatingSTEAM program. 

What experience does the staff of WCTD have? 

  • We Connect The Dots combines 100 plus years of combined experience from the technology and education sectors. The founder and Executive Director is a technology and education professional with 35+ years of experience working for innovative technology companies, such as Microsoft and Novell. Our WCTD team consists of a blend of educators, industry experts, and students, with a passion to create positive change who are all volunteering to support our mission.  

Are staff members background checked? 

  • Yes. WCTD conducts background checks on all volunteers to ensure your student's safety. Teachers who volunteer are asked to confirm their state mandated background check prior to coming on board.  

How are staff members and mentors trained? 

  • We hold a three-day training session for all volunteers and mentors prior to the program. The training gives instruction on how to be a coach/mentor to students, what the expectations of the program are, and how to interact with the students to help them be successful.  

Why was this program created? 

  • CreatingSTEAM was created to give students a unique insight to applications of science, technology, engineering, arts and math in the professional world. Student who attend the program not only learn skills in these areas, but what sorts of careers will be available to them when they are graduating high school and college, and what it will take to hold those jobs. The next decade will see a surge of roughly 14 million jobs available in STEAM industries, and we want to give students the tools and education they need to seek out those rewarding and lucrative careers.  

Where is the Microsoft Office? 

  • The Microsoft office is located at 11 Times Square, New York, NY 10036, directly across from Port Authority Bus Terminal.  

What is the maximum enrollment for CreatingSTEAM? 

  • CreatingSTEAM can accept a total of 64 students. There is a waiting list for the program registration when it becomes full. To be added to the waiting list, contact us at events@we-connect-the-dots.org.  

How can I register for CreatingSTEAM? 

What are the requirements to attend CreatingSTEAM? 

  • Students between the ages of 13 and 18 years old are welcome to register for the program. Students should have an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, math, collaboration, teamwork, and a desire to learn new skills. There are no requirements for coding skills or any specific skills, just the desire to learn. 

What is the cost to attend CreatingSTEAM? 

  • The CreatingSTEAM program is $1000 per student for the 10 day program and we offer scholarships through an application process for students who qualify for free and or reduced lunch.  There are optional additional costs such as lunch for the duration of the program, for the field trip, or for the situation where a student has forgotten their lunch during the program.  

Is transportation provided? 

  • Students must find their own transportation to and from the program each day. We suggest families collaborate on transportation options in groups to reduce travel expenses. You can join our parent group within our online community to meet other parents of students attending.  Parent Community

  • We provide transportation for the field trip to NYC on July 20th from the program location and returning to same location.  

Transportation: 

Please visit NYIT for information regarding transportation to and from the campus.  NYIT INFORMATION

What is the check-in process for each day: 

  • Students must arrive at the NYIT Campus between 8:30 AM and 9:00 AM each day. Students must bring their registration confirmation letter with them, and check in at the registration table on the first day.  Further instructions will be provided upon registration and or application acceptance.

What is the checkout process for each day? 

  • Students will be dismissed from the program each day at 4:00 PM.  All students must be picked up from the program no later than 4:15 PM. If you are late picking up your student you will be charged a fee of $25 dollars for every 15 minutes or part thereof past 4:15 PM.  Further instructions will be provided upon registration and or application acceptance.

How do I contact someone during the day if I have an emergency? 

  • You may contact us via email at events@we-connect-the-dots.org or leave a voice message at 631-468-7475 any time during the program day if you have an emergency or cannot reach your student. You can also reach us on yammer via the parent group.  Students are permitted to have their cell phones during the program, and we encourage students to bring them. If for any reason we need to contact you, we will reach out to you via the emergency contact info you provided at the time of registration.  

What should my student bring to the program? 

  • Students should bring their lunch (if they have not purchased one in advance -), their mobile phone, and their commitment to learning! Students will not need (and should not bring) their own laptop. They will be provided with a device at the beginning of each day. Students should dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather conditions.  

  • Lunch can be purchased in advance for the entire 10 days only at $175.00 

  • Emergency Lunch can be purchased if a lunch is forgotten, but only online and the charge is $17.50 per day needed.

  • WE WILL NOT ACCEPT CASH FOR PAYMENT FOR LUNCH FROM STUDENTS 

How should my student prepare for the program? 

There are several key preparations that must be completed in advance. 

 1. Students must join our online Yammer community. The private student community is where we will be sharing information, having conversations, and storing data during the program. Yammer will be an important tool used during the program. Students request an invitation and then are approved by our administrator. To request an invite register here: Yammer Request  

2. Students can learn how to utilize Yammer in advance of the program by watching these short training videos here : Learn Yammer

3. Students must complete their pre-program assessment survey before the program begins. The survey helps us to deliver a unique program that emphasizes the skills students need and want to learn. If a student does not take the assessment before the program begins, he or she will have to complete it on day 1, which will take time away from their involvement in the day's events. Students and parents will receive the pre-assessment link upon registration or application acceptance.  

Is lunch provided? 

  • Students have the option of purchasing lunch in advanced at the time of registration acceptance. The cost is $175.00 for the full 10 days.  Students are welcome to bring their own lunches, beverages, and snacks if they would like. There will be a half-hour break each day for lunch. Under no circumstances are students permitted to leave the building for any reason during the program. Students can either elect to have lunch provided by WCTD or bring their own. Please make sure to list and preferences or allergies on your application.    

What is the code of conduct? 

  • Students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible young adults and follow the instruction of WCTD staff at all times. Physical or virtual bullying, abuse, insults, discrimination, and/or intolerance of any kind is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated. Students who cannot abide by this policy will be asked to leave. If a student is ejected from the program, his or her parents will be responsible for picking them up at that time. Students who are asked to leave forfeit their seats to the program and will not be invited to participate in future programs. If a conflict develops between students WCTD will make every effort to mediate the conflict fairly, and parents will be notified of any changes made to student teams at the time of the change. If your student has a problem at any time, he or she should approach one of our staff members or volunteers to report it. This includes anything from a conflict with another student to a personal issue. Students should be made to understand that the staff is there to help. 

Can I see what my student is doing from day to day? 

  • Yes! And that is one of the greatest parts of CreatingSTEAM. To track what students are doing day to day, join our Yammer community at www.yammer.com/weconnectthedots. We will post daily updates and photos throughout the program.  

May I come to see the student presentations on the final day? 

  • Of course, and we would love to see you there! Presentations take place on July 27th from 1 PM to 3:45 PM. If you would like to join us you must notify us in advance at events@we-connect-the-dots.org. Please include your full name, email address, phone number and the name of your student. We ask that parents commit to the entire session to prevent interruptions to student presentations. Parents planning to attend should arrive to the campus no later than 12:45 PM. Those who arrive later will not be permitted into the presentation area until there is a break between presentations. 

What is a typical day at the program like? 

  • Glad you asked! An agenda for the program will be made available before the program begins. You will receive the information via email.  

How are teams chosen for the program? 

  • We Connect The Dots uses a unique algorithm that sorts students into groups based on their age, gender, coding experience, artistic ability, and location. We do our best to avoid grouping students from the same school together, as that removes the ability to learn important team building skills. Students will work with assigned team throughout the 10 days. If we see that assignments are not a good fit we may make changes early in the program, though this is usually not necessary. 

Will my student be leaving the office at all during the program? 

  • Yes, we will be taking a field trip to the Microsoft Facility on 8th avenue between 41st and 42nd on July 20th for the day. Otherwise all activities will take place at the NYIT Old Westbury Campus. 

How can I help We Connect The Dots reach out to more students? 

  • We're so glad you asked! There are lots of different ways you can help: 

1) Spread the word about the great work we do. Copy and paste the following message into your Facebook and/or Twitter pages: "My student is attending the We Connect The Dots' CreatingSTEAM program this July. Learn about the great work they do www.we-connect-the-dots.org" 

2) Donate: Our organization relies on donations and sponsorship to make this program and other like it available to all students, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances. If you feel that your student had a good experience, and want to see it happen for others, please consider making a donation at http://we-connect-the-dots.org/donate/    

3) Volunteer: WCTD needs volunteers to help us run our operations, mentor our students, and support our mission to deliver STEAM education to students around the world. With your help, we can make sure that more students can have access to the education and tools they need to find their own paths to success. Volunteer at http://we-connect-the-dots.org/volunteer/

4) Put the power in our hands to spread the word! Send us an email address or phone number of someone that you think would like to hear from us and we will do the rest. 

  • Please feel free to contact us if we did not answer your question here. We welcome the opportunity to speak with parents and students prior to all of our programs. Reach out to us at events@we-connect-the-dots.org.