June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.755.1 - 24.755.6
Innovation Center: Preparing High School Students for the 21st Century Economy by Providing Resources and Opportunities to Create Genuine Projects with Industry Partners (work in progress)The (X) Innovation Center (IC) is a research and design incubator located within (X) SchoolDistrict and created to bridge the academic and career-readiness pathways for science,technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students in a high school setting. Our mission is tomatch highly skilled STEM students with industry, government and entrepreneurialopportunities. The students will develop real-world projects with worldwide applications.The IC is housed within 6,000 square feet of design space equipped with state-of-the-art designfacilities including manufacturing and electronics support as well as team design space. Thecurrent facility was remodeled to align with a partner (X) University College of Engineeringincubator. The (X) school district is preparing for the successful future of the IC with designs fora larger 40,000 square foot, 10 million dollar stand-alone facility that readies the IC to competein the 21st century economy.Partnerships are a prime focus of the IC, with key collaborations between district, industry, anduniversity stakeholders. The IC collaborates with the (X) STEM Academy that has a focus onengineering and computer programming as their STEM certification pathway. Another keycollaboration is the unique partnership between the IC and the (X) University College ofEngineering, involving a strong alignment of curriculum and targeting admission for STEMgraduates into the engineering undergraduate program. Partnerships with industry are the thirdkey collaboration of the IC for creating an enterprise zone within the K-12 system that functionsas a high-level workforce readiness pipeline. It is expected that the development of industrypartnerships at the high school level will help produce the next generation of innovators.As a comprehensive research and development center, the IC will provide an environmenttailored to inventors, designers, and entrepreneurs. Analytical problem-solving skills,collaboration, and innovation will all be cultivated. Project development will follow one of threetracks. One track has students working in the Innovation Center on their STEM Academy seniorcapstone projects for a grade. The next two tracks take advantage of an on-line STEM portalwhere students and industry partners can market projects. On one track, students market theircapstone projects to potential industry investors and on the second track, industry investors canpost projects for IC teams to bid on. In this track, STEM students have the opportunity forprivate enterprise to provide paid project team positions to work on solutions to industryproblems. Once completed, students showcase their projects at both STEM Academy andCollege of Engineering Design Expos.To conclude, this paper will describe the development of the IC, including securing funds,nurturing industry partners, and lessons learned. Three pilot student industry projects will bedescribed and evaluated for generalizability to other suburban communities. Ultimately, thispaper will provide a starting road map for school districts that have a desire to expand K-12engineering out of the classroom and into the community.
Steckel, J., & Quinones, P. A., & Zarske, M. S., & Knight, D. (2014, June), Innovation Center: Preparing High School Students for the 21st Century Economy by Providing Resources and Opportunities to Create Genuine Projects with Industry Partners (work in progress) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/20647
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