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Icon for: Priya Mohabir

PRIYA MOHABIR

New York Hall of Science

Innovation Institute

NSF Awards: 1311981

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 9-12

Innovation Institute seeks to promote the STEM career development of young people of high school age from underrepresented backgrounds by engaging them in next-generation entrepreneurial activities through technologically rich experiences in engineering. The program goals of I2 look to determine the degree to which this process leads to persistence in the STEM workforce and the development of deeper learning skills (e.g., academic mindsets, self directed learning) and 21st century skills (e.g., collaboration, non-routine problem solving, critical thinking), as well as determine the extent to which this process increases STEM knowledge, skills, and dispositions.

 Within the program, participants explore ways they can make a difference, designing and making products or processes that will benefit our local Corona community. During the Innovation Institute, participants seek out problems and collectively discuss potential ways to solve them. The teens explore ethnographic concepts through neighborhood walks, observations and reflections, and learn how to use tools to build prototypes. Through an iterative process, participants use feedback from the program team, peers, and advisors to makes changes that allow their product to best address the goals they have set.

Teens also co-facilitate middle school programs with NYSCI staff, creating a connection between teaching and learning. They transfer their knowledge to a younger audience, providing a firsthand application to problem solving. The program culminates with the Innovation Institute interns showcasing their projects at World Maker Faire.

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