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031 | creative stem-based summer programs & the challenges educators face | with laura bloch & ashley price

031 | Creative STEM-Based Summer Programs & the Challenges Educators Face | with Laura Bloch & Ashley Price

The Innovation Lab is the PAST Foundation’s “test kitchen,” of sorts where we brainstorm the creation of summer STEM experiences for the students and teachers. Today, we’re talking to two of the people responsible for creating these experiences: Ashley Price, Assistant Director of Bridge Programs at the PAST Innovation Lab, and Laura Bloch, a student at Columbia University who is working towards her master’s degree in Instructional Technology and Media.

Laura and Ashley walk us through the challenges of leading diverse groups of students, embracing failures as a learning tool for children and for teachers, and creatively linking real world problems with education-based solutions.

There is so much learning that can happen when we step back and let our students truly be immersed in the opportunities of how we think about things — the modification, the failures, and the successes. The idea is to get kids seeing and experiencing things that they may not get a chance to see in the classroom, or finding opportunities for jobs and interests they may not have known existed before — like underwater robotics!

We unbox:

  • Giving kids a chance to explore new interests
  • Figuring out the best way to teach a diverse set of kids
  • Why the Modify stage of the design cycle is so essential
  • Being allowed to fail even as an instructor or facilitator
  • Moving from exploration into exposure
  • Linking subject matters to a global problem