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 2013.
How long has this program existed?
We Connect The Dots has been delivering this program for three years. This is our fourth 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 Chairman of the Board 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I register for CreatingSTEAM?
WCTD provides an online registration form that allows students to register for the program. To access the registration page, simply go to http://we-connect-the-dots.org/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 offered free of charge to students who are selected through the application process. There are also additional available costs such as lunch for the duration of the program and transportation to and from the event.
Is transportation provided?
This year WCTD will be providing an optional busing service to and from the event at an additional costs. Otherwise Students must find their own transportation to and from the program. We suggest families from outside the city to collaborate on transportation options in groups and to reduce travel expenses. You can join our parent group within our online community to meet other parents of students attending.
Transportation is offered for Long Island students only with two pick up locations, Huntington and Westbury, with a cost of $50 per student.
Driving from Long Island: Take I-495 (Long Island Expressway) to Queens Midtown Tunnel. Use the right 3 lanes to take the exit toward E 37th Street. Keep left, follow signs for Crosstown/37th st./3rd Ave and merge onto E 37th street. Continue on E 37th St. Take W 41st St to 8th Ave. Make a right onto 8th Ave. The building will be on your right, directly across from Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Driving from New Jersey: Take I-78 E to I-95. Take the exit toward I-95 N/NJ Turnpike N. Take Exit 16 toward Lincoln Tunnel. Continue onto NJ-495 E. Follow signs for 42nd St/I-495/NY-9A. Take left Exit toward NY_9A/42nd Street/Uptown/Theater District. Take W 40th to 8th Ave. Make a left on 8th Ave. Microsoft will be on your right, directly across from Port Authority Bus Terminal.
From Long Island: Take the LIRR to Penn Station. From Penn Station, take the E subway line uptown one stop to 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal. Exit onto 8th Ave. The entrance to the building faces 8th Ave, across from Port Authority Bus Terminal.
From New Jersey: Take the bus to Port Authority, or train to New York Penn Station. From Port Authority exit onto 8th Ave. Cross over 8th Ave to the Microsoft office. From Penn Station take the E subway line uptown one stop to 42nd Street Port Authority Bus Terminal. Exit onto 8th Ave. Microsoft faces 8th Ave, directly across from Port Authority.
What is the check-in process for each day:
Students traveling on their own or with their parents must arrive at the Microsoft office 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 each morning. Students will receive an ID badge and be escorted up to the 6th floor where the program will be taking place.
What is the checkout process for each day?
Students will be dismissed from the program each day at 4:00 PM. If you are picking your student up from the program, you must arrive no later than 4:00 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 4:00 PM.
How do I contact someone during the day if I have an emergency?
You may contact us via email at email@example.com any time during the program day if you have an emergency or cannot reach your student. You can also reach us on yammer. 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.
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 may complete their survey by following this link: Assessment
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 to purchase food, nor does the Microsoft office have a food service provider where students can purchase lunch each day. 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 atwww.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 28th from 1 PM to 3:45 PM. If you would like to join us you must notify us in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, email address, phone number and the name of your student. When you arrive on the 28th there will be badge waiting for you at the security table in the lobby. We ask that parents commit to the entire session to prevent interruptions to student presentations. Parents planning to attend should arrive to the office no later than 12:45 PM. Those who arrive later will not be permitted into the presentation area.
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 Store on 5th avenue on July 21st in the afternoon. Otherwise all activities will take place at the Microsoft office.
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 email@example.com.