I was Outreach Coordinator for an NSF-funded engineering curriculum called Through My Window from 2014-2018. The curriculum includes two books with associated lessons and is designed to engage young people–particularly girls–in engineering.
I created lesson plans, implemented our curriculum directly with students, and worked with educators (more about that on the Empowering Educators page). I learned about the power of storytelling for deep learning and the importance of illustrating how engineering affects society for inspiring girls. I loved watching students’ views transform from thinking that engineers just build cars or work on computers to realizing that engineering is centrally about using math and science for creativity and problem-solving in just about any domain.
Examples of Work
Work with Children
I ran programs using the Through My Window curriculum with local Girl Scouts and with summer campers at Girls Inc of Western Massachusetts. To see a blog post I wrote about working with Girl Scouts, click here.
I co-created enrichment activities with Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh, Principal Investigator, to be used with students in grades 4-8, including:
- How Are You Feeling? Students consider facial recognition as a form of intelligence.
- Tell Me What to Do! A new twist on the classic “giving instructions” activity in which students also create their own “programming languages.”
- Does My Brain Have a Mind of Its Own? Students consider their consciousness and if robots could ever be consciousness.
- AI’s the Limit! Students vote on and discuss questions about AI’s potential.
- Would Robots Make Good Caretakers? Students consider whether robots could–and ethically should–help care for the elderly.
The graphic design of these activities was done by Mary Moser.
Through My Window was created at Springfield Tech Community College and Smith College.