Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Tulane University and was written by Guest Blogger Kristin Guidry.
Help Your Kids Become Problem Solvers with Tulane Summer Enrichment Institute in STEM
From Science to Music
How do biomedical engineers design more life-like prosthetics? How do electrical engineers utilize the principles of energy conversion and electricity to construct more efficient power sources? How do sanitation krewes better clean the streets of New Orleans after Mardi Gras? How do jazz musicians create unique sounds and rhythms? How do environmental scientists monitor the health of Louisiana’s waterways and prevent water waste? All of these questions and more can be answered through hands-on exploration in STEM programs!
You have probably heard the term STEM (an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), but you may still have questions as to what STEM programs are and what goals these programs have. STEM programs immerse children and young adults in holistic, project based, higher-order thinking activities. Participants in STEM programs are immersed in the engineering design process as they work to solve real world problems or challenges through authentic hands-on learning experiences. In many cases, participants work together to complete projects and provide feedback to each other in order to build the most efficient solutions to real-world problems.
As technology rapidly infuses our lives, STEM programs challenge children and young adults to think across subject lines and outside of the box. Sparking a passion for continued interest and experiences in science and engineering, participants are encouraged to think about real-world challenges differently. These connections help children see that what they are building today can change the future of their own community, and may even be able to change the way things are done worldwide.
It is imperative that parents and educators foster a love of learning and exploration in STEM. This can be achieved through talking with your children about the best way to fix a crumbling bridge, clean a local bayou or river, or collect recyclables within your neighborhood. A STEM mindset can also be realized through coding activities, circuit building, and mathematical challenges and games.
Tulane Summer Enrichment Institute
To help foster that STEM mindset, at Tulane University we have created the Tulane Summer Enrichment Institute. The Institute offers STEM programs for middle (rising 6th-8th) and high school (rising 9th-11th) students with an emphasis on challenges unique to Louisiana and local culture. Through our STEM Institute your middle schooler will have the opportunity to build a robot that prevents water waste, use digital coding methods to create a unique jazz melody, design methods to stop the erosion of the Louisiana coastline, propose solutions to preserve the healthy habitats of Louisiana’s swamps, create a more efficient prosthetic hand using 3D printers, and learn how to create alternative energy sources for powering cars and home electronics. High school students can engineer a safer helmet, create a robot to clean the streets after Mardi Gras, digitally create a more efficient way to throw beads, better predict hurricanes, track the health of Louisiana’s waterways, and fix our crumbling power grids.
Lab, Studio & Excursions
Your child will have the opportunity to learn and create in Tulane’s top-of-the-line facilities, labs, and art studios, as well as have our expert instructors mentor and give feedback throughout the design process. Our small program size, with 15-20 participants for each course, allows instructors to customize each program to the individual participant’s strengths and interests. Students will also have weekly off-campus excursions related to their program in order to inspire and test their solutions in person. Off-campus excursions may include a visit to The Tulane Bywater Institute on the banks of the Mississippi River, Tulane’s Studio in the Woods, a solar energy field, New Orleans Jazz Museum, or Tulane Medical Center. We offer 8 weekly sessions, along with three 2-week residential sessions, with the programs lasting from 8am-4pm daily.
You can visit our website for additional information or you may email us at [email protected]. We look forward to fostering a lifelong passion for STEM and critical thinking in your child this summer at Tulane!
About the Author
Kristin Guidry was born and raised in New Orleans. She can always be found at the Fairgrounds during Jazz Fest. Kristin currently serves as the Pre-College Admission Counselor at Tulane University. Prior to starting at Tulane, Kristin was a classroom teacher for 10 years in New Orleans and is passionate for getting students excited about STEM initiatives, both in and out of the classroom. She is the proud parent of a dynamic 7 year old daughter. Kristin can be reached at [email protected]!