6565 Views (as of 05/2023)
Icon for: Paul Slater


Palm Beach State College

STEM Artist Learning by Doing

NSF Awards: 1501447

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)


As the human population continues to rise and technology becomes increasingly more integrated into society, learning by doing (hands-on) will embed deep-rooted skill sets, as well as, understanding of resources and the energy required to harvest or process those resources.

By nurturing creativity and offering -practical- project based opportunities, our students are discovering ways in which advanced technologies reflect a systems approach to sustainable and progressively into regenerative developments. Educators that incorporate hands-on learning can inspire and embed core values that connect students to their natural world as well as prosper economically and socially.

At Palm Beach State College-Electrical Power Technology & Engineering Technology AS degree programs, we are creating a new normal for STEM education. The opportunity to connect students with hands on labs and extra-curricular activities has demonstrated increased retention for completion as well as inspiration for new students interested in advanced technologies.

Hands-on learning is fundamental to the students’ deep-rooted knowledge and comprehension. Our values in sustainability and commitment to higher education begins with creativity and inspiration. As the youth transition into advanced learning, our goal is to combine student skillset dexterity with teamwork, safety and organization.

This video has had approximately 441 visits by 291 visitors from 79 unique locations. It has been played 212 times as of 05/2023.
Click to See Activity Worldwide
Map reflects activity with this presentation from the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase: Transforming the Educational Landscape website, as well as the STEM For All Multiplex website.
Based on periodically updated Google Analytics data. This is intended to show usage trends but may not capture all activity from every visitor.
show more
Discussion from the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase (18 posts)
  • Icon for: Lawrence Lesser

    Lawrence Lesser

    May 13, 2018 | 02:34 p.m.

    I love the concept of a "STEM Artist" -- congratulations on this innovative, creative, hands-on project!


  • Icon for: Elizabeth Ingraham

    Elizabeth Ingraham

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2018 | 11:52 p.m.

    What a terrific video and project! I hope we can encourage more STEM artists!

  • Icon for: Paul Slater

    Paul Slater

    Lead Presenter
    Lab Specialist
    May 14, 2018 | 08:58 a.m.

    By encouraging creative skills development, our students discover more about them selves, as well as, where they see them selves in the future. These intrinsic skillsets are then matched with STEM career pathways. Thank you very much for recognizing our efforts!

  • Jessica Miles

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 11:35 a.m.

    This was not just a classroom project but a community project. Learning with a real purpose in mind...what could be better than that. Amazing job!

  • Icon for: Kelsey Lipsitz

    Kelsey Lipsitz

    May 14, 2018 | 01:49 p.m.

    I also love the idea of the innovator as a "STEM artist" -- very creative! Thank you for sharing your work. What a great way to not only teach life skills, but to make a difference in the community. It sounds like a wonderful collaboration between the city of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach State, how were you able to build that relationship? Also, the students seemed really invested in the project, how were you able to foster that investment (especially if they were given the problem as opposed to choosing one of their own)?

  • Icon for: Dennis Pearl

    Dennis Pearl

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 02:18 p.m.

    neat idea - thanks or your video! Can you say more about what aspects of the activity you feel are most connected to the positive results on retention?

  • Icon for: Paul Slater

    Paul Slater

    Lead Presenter
    Lab Specialist
    May 14, 2018 | 02:52 p.m.

    The most significant collaboration arises from business partnerships that invest their time in meeting with the department chair and lend suggestion for workforce development needs such as, software and hardware currently used in the field. When teaching topics such as advanced technologies, it really helps to simplify the content into practical applications. Additionally, the retention rates are seemingly higher when students work in groups of no more than 4. It seems that when challenged to solve a problem all they need are the tools, budget, and timeline. It wasn't difficult to stroke the students interest in the project because they are building their resumes and have had alot of press which makes them feel accomplished. Occasionally, they stumble over who has the best ideas, so it helps to have a non-bias mentor to make final calls.

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kelsey Lipsitz
  • Icon for: Paul Slater

    Paul Slater

    Lead Presenter
    Lab Specialist
    May 14, 2018 | 03:33 p.m.

    Our challenge to engage more woman in engineering is a ongoing recruitment process. The community absolutely has desire for mixed cultural and gender equality in STEM careers. We are actively seeking more resources to facilitate this need to inspire those we are challenged to reach. Currently, we are running a Summer B.E.S.T. (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) Academy funded by our NSF grant. It has run for 3 years and we are having tremendous success with it. The BEST academy is all about hands on STEM activities and fieldtrips to industry (Power, Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing). These underserved high school students have an opportunity to learn about careers they never new existed and how to get these jobs once they uncover their own interests. This year, we have 12 girls out of 45 students which has been consistently average over the past 3 years. I believe we need more marketing toward shared images of women at work in STEM careers. We try to create our own stock photos but, there is definitely a open market for professional images of women in engineering. Big news as of today, we just hired our new department chair for Engineering Technology, Eva Suarez - she is an awesome example of a tenured engineer and could help shift the paradigm!

  • Icon for: Paul Slater

    Paul Slater

    Lead Presenter
    Lab Specialist
    May 15, 2018 | 12:23 p.m.

    Innovations seem to stem from creative expression and experiential learning. Investment in team building and community development then replicates these significant moments which become catalyst for innovative advancement. When speaking about innovation what goes around comes around. Invest in community and the community will give more than ever imagined possible 

  • Icon for: Andee Rubin

    Andee Rubin

    Senior Scientist
    May 15, 2018 | 01:46 p.m.

    Thank you for this inspiring example of community-college collaboration.  I noticed at the end of your video, although you did not call it out specifically, that these students are pursuing associates' degrees - and therefore represent a population that I fear has seen fewer benefits from advancements in educational theory and practice than some others.  I'm intrigued by the way you have gotten community buy-in; it seems crucial to the program to have authentic tasks from real clients.  The solar-powered bench is a clear winner as a project; do you have other examples you could share of successful projects?

  • Icon for: Paul Slater

    Paul Slater

    Lead Presenter
    Lab Specialist
    May 15, 2018 | 02:20 p.m.

    Through our outreach program sponsored by the NSF grant, we visit title 1 high schools to share program information and often we are questioned with: How much does an AS degree cost? Consequently, Palm Beach State College tuition is somewhere around 3 lowest in the nation. With Financial aide and paid internships there is plenty of room to finance the education- we even have a few low income students that receive grants simply because they qualify. For us, the challenge is getting them to come though the door. To gain access to high schools for small presentations or tabling events is achieved by having a strong relationship with high school principals, as well as, meeting the teachers that are putting forth the effort to give resources to their students. Additionally, we have student ambassadors -within the engineering program- that volunteer for special event like SECME, Robotics Competitions and Science Fairs to encourage peer to peer relationships thus sharing experiences as well as discussion about opportunities they have gained.

    Here is a link to our B.E.S.T. Summer Academy to drive interest in going to college.

  • Icon for: Dennis Dupps

    Dennis Dupps

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2018 | 08:01 a.m.

    This is a creative way to solve problems using Art, Stem and Technology. Hands on activities unlock deep learning for your students. Well done! 

  • Icon for: Erica Halverson

    Erica Halverson

    May 16, 2018 | 09:26 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing your video!  Your project illustrates an important aspect of STEAM education - how you can situate design and arts-based pedagogy into the making process. Also, I appreciated how you were able to connect making to real-world problem solving - nice work! 

    I have several questions about the project:

    1) Some researchers in maker spaces talk about art as allied with engineering, others talk about art as connected with interest and creativity. The outcomes for these two pathways are typically quite different - the measure of an engineering project is "does it work;" while the end of an arts-based project is something like "is it compelling/evocative?"  Your project seems to align more toward the engineering side of the scale...how do you think about the creative side of arts-based making in the work?

    2) How do you recruit new partnerships for the project? The solar panels in parks project is very nice, but I'm guessing there are only a certain number of parks to renovate. How do you select new projects/partners, and how do you expect new kinds of projects to redefine the kinds of skills you hope students will learn?

    Thank you again for sharing your compelling work!

    - Erica

    (P.S. I was glad to read in the comments above that you are working on increasing gender diversity in the project) 

  • Icon for: Paul Slater

    Paul Slater

    Lead Presenter
    Lab Specialist
    May 17, 2018 | 03:59 p.m.

    Our students were given free rein to work out the details such as form and function. Our goals were no only to make the solar charging stations work (engineering component) but, to attract others to use it (art component). This is where form and function have a symbiotic relationship. Simply because something works does not mean the public will engage with it. The project expresses a stylized functionality which is where the creative side of the arts is expressed. We anticipate, based on the prototypes, the project will be well received.

    Industrial designers in traditional manufacturing, may develop an aesthetically pleasing and ergonomic design however, by the time the concept is reviewed by the engineering department, the original design is often completely redesigned. Modern advanced manufacturing processes such as rapid prototyping, permits the creator/designer to work out many of the engineering components within their own vision all the way to final product. Engineers additionally, have more tools to permit aesthetic design features that were once renders "not possible"

    In order to network the college with the business community, Oleg Andric, -our department chair- amongst others, has been actively building our business partnerships. He believes the key to creating projects for students derives from being aware of the community needs and inquiry about business and government short and long term goals. Then find the intersection between the community needs and your own program outcomes.

    Thank you again for your interest in the project!


  • Olimpia Lukacs

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2018 | 08:49 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this “new normal” and for getting rid of the box!

    This project is an absolute example on how bringing out the best in students could impact a whole community. I want to believe that many will get inspired and will use “Stem Art” as a venue to turn beautiful ideas into practical benefits for communities.

  • Aubree Lockard

    Graduate Student
    May 18, 2018 | 03:57 p.m.

    This video showcased a creative project that a community could benefit from.  As a sixth grade teacher, how would you recommend bringing "STEM Artisit" into the classroom?  I think this age is crucial for using hands-on learning and applying those skills learned from the classroom.  Could a community impact project be done at this age or is it more for high school and college level students?  I enjoyed seeing the joy in the students' faces because of how gratifying it must feel after accomplishing a task like they did!

  • Sarah Dean

    Undergraduate Student
    May 21, 2018 | 08:19 a.m.

    I thought the idea of making everyday objects (like a table) into a "charging station" was a neat way to intrigue non-STEM students. They may initially be attracted by the opportunity to charge their phone, but once they realize their peers made these products, they may want to participate in this innovative program as well.

  • S. Chandramohan

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 21, 2018 | 04:52 p.m.

     Excellent STEM Project and presentation, impressive.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.