MIT 21F 034 - Future Leaders in Technology and Engineering (27 pages)

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Future Leaders in Technology and Engineering



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Future Leaders in Technology and Engineering

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Pages:
27
School:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Course:
21f 034 - Media Education and the Marketplace
Unformatted text preview:

Future Leaders in Technology and Engineering FLiTE By Jesus Alvarez Tabitha Bonilla Yamicia Connor Yonatan Tekleab Etienne Toussaint Abstract Future Leaders in Technology and Engineering FLiTE is a project based educational enrichment program that addresses the disparities in education faced by low income and minority students We plan to work with 12 students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin for three weeks in January 2005 Our program includes traditional math and science lectures and explores these concepts through a group project However what distinguishes FLiTE from other educational enrichment programs is that FLiTE focuses on leadership development in science technology engineering and math STEM and helps the students to understand the relationship between the STEM fields and public policy Throughout the three weeks the students will be introduced to several guest speakers who are leaders in their fields and using their skills to influence public policy and encourage change within their own community We are striving to dispel the notion that these fields are reserved for an elite few and instead to reveal to the students the ability they have to be original creative and innovative By introducing them to highly technical disciplines we hope to encourage the students to take ownership of these fields so that they feel enabled to use these skills to promote change within their own community FLiTE is scheduled to begin on January 16 and to end on February 6 Recruitment and admission for the program will be conducted in early December 2005 The program will cost approximately 4 600 The students will meet with project coordinators after school for ninety minutes Monday through Thursday at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School On Saturdays the students will attend four hour workshops at MIT where they will construct their project Our team is composed of five undergraduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology With diverse technical backgrounds we are eager to use our knowledge to educate our surrounding community Introduction In 2000 over 75 percent of African American and Hispanic tenth grade students in Massachusetts failed both the math portions of the MCAS exam whereas less than 40 percent of their White and Asian counterparts failed the same exams There exists an alarming racial disparity within the educational system in Massachusetts Minority students are not being engaged in the fields of math and science The schools are failing to demonstrate to theses students how they can use their education to impact their everyday lives leaving the students feeling disengaged and uninterested in school The community is failing these students restricting not only their educational opportunities but also their future career options These students do not have equal access to resources that are critical for their educational development and their math and science skills are far behind their peers excluding them from careers in math science and technology Project Plan We will recruit minority students from Cambridge Rindge and Latin through a comprehensive application process in December 2005 See Appendix A Accepted students will be notified through mail and by telephone on 2 January 2006 We will meet with the students after school Mondays through Thursdays for ninety minutes On Saturdays we will hold four hour workshops at MIT The theme for this year s program will be innovative and environmentally friendly transportation methods The students will discuss the role of math and science in the development of environmental public policy In accordance with this theme the students will be given a design project that is an environmentally friendly alternative form of transportation The students will then assess the strengths and weaknesses of their project while also considering the strengths and limitations of other forms of transportation Throughout the program the relationship between the STEM fields and policy will be reinforced through the engineering design process The students project designs will not only be required to fit basic engineering criteria but will also have to be an environmentally viable solution The program will commence with an opening ceremony to be held on January 16 where we will explain the project goals and the curriculum to the students and their parents Week one of the program introduces the project and the design process to the students During these sessions they will use the engineering peer review evaluation process to assess the advantages and limitations of their designs The students will also be introduced to public policy and will be given the chance to discuss the purpose and significance of the selected project During this first week we would like to illustrate the relationship between the STEM fields and public policy The second week extends the design process into implementation and emphasizes the roles of math and science in technology The final week examines the various uses of technology and emphasizes its role in society This week culminates on February 5 with final presentations The final presentation will be in a policy based format where the students will present their projects as though they are lobbying policy makers to adopt policy that is friendly to their technology The program alternates traditional math and science lectures with modules featuring SolidWorks1 and Matlab2 The computer programs will be used to connect the 1 2 A program used in design generally to create models An application used to create programs used for data analysis and visualization classroom lessons to the project Computers also play an important role in introducing to students various aspects of information technology Studies have shown that lower income students lack sufficient exposure to technology limiting their ability to pursue many careers options One of the goals of our program is to begin to bridge the digital divide in Cambridge by making information technology a vital component of FLiTE Appendix B outlines a more complete list of our weekly goals The students will be divided into groups of three or four and each group will design and construct an LTA lighter than air vehicle Design of the vehicle will take place in the after school sessions while the LTAs will primarily be constructed at MIT during the Saturday sessions An LTA such as a blimp uses buoyancy to produce lift The students will use their current knowledge of math and science and other


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