497-302: STEM Project Collaborations with Chicago Museums and other Non-Profit Organizations

Meeting Days/Time
Tuesdays from 1:50 to 4:30 pm
Motorola Solutions Foundation
Twisha Shah-Brandenburg (Undergrad Ed -- design strategy) (shah.twisha@gmail.com), Thomas Brandenburg (Undergrad Ed -- design strategy), Matt Robison (Undergrad Ed -- predictive analytics) and Joseph Orgel (BIO) (orgel@iit.edu)
Appropriate Majors
Social Innovation

STEM Education is at the forefront of thinking by the public, academic institutions, workplace organizations and government bodies. With the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards and a push to inspire K-12 student interest in STEM careers, organizations view this as an opportunity to incorporate STEM outreach into their missions. With the help of Motorola Solutions Foundation’s Innovation Generation Grant Partners and others, students joining this IPRO cluster have the opportunity to collaborate with these organizations to research, design and prototype innovative concepts that can to meet each organization’s unique STEM mission for high school students and others.

As members of discrete IPRO teams within this cluster, students will learn and apply a variety of tools for information gathering, data evaluation, ideation, implementation and testing. Students will develop an appreciation for the multiple moving parts in a client-based project through engagement with a community partner organization that has a STEM-based mission. This course is relevant for those (1) who are interested in STEM outreach, (2) interested in learning how to manage client relationships, and (3) whose careers will involve direct interaction with clients and community partners.

Each semester brings a new set of projects. Previous projects and activities in this cluster have included:

  • Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (developing teaching modules for Journey World; developing STEM-in-a-Box Activities for Young Scouts);
  • Shedd Aquarium (developing teaching modules on ecological separation; designing teaching modules on aquatic microbiomes);
  • Erikson Institute (developing K-3 teaching modules on human-made world);
  • Adler Planetarium (creating and prototyping concepts for a meteor strike exhibit; ideating STEM activities for millennial visitors);
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (enhancing and teaching field data collection for high school students); and
  • Southland Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (developing workshops to incorporate maker labs into the K-12 curriculum);
  • Chicago Public Library & The 606 (developing STEM activity kits for after school YOUmedia teen programs); and
  • Von Steuben High School (developing concepts for an Opt4STEM MakerLab)

Collaborating STEM organizations for fall 2017 have not yet been confirmed but may include Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, Society of Women Engineers, FIRST Illinois Robotics and others.

Course Downloads:

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