Our 2012 Summer Session—themed “Local Action, Broader Impact”—will run weekdays from June 25 to July 20 (excluding July 4th), from 10am to 5pm. Each day’s activities begin at the IITRI Tower (10 W 33rd St, Chicago), the tallest building on IIT’s campus.
Theme: “Local Action, Broader Impact”
Through this summer’s program, we will explore how STEM-related work can positively impact lives and improve conditions locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally—and seek to understand the stakes of this work. We will investigate various interconnected world problems, learn about the many different scales on which these challenges can be addressed (not only local and global, but infrastructural, populations-level, cellular, nano!), and propose local actions that could effect broader change. In addition to collaborating with one another on projects modeled on real-world situations, students will have the opportunity to contribute to real projects taking place in the real world—specifically, in the city of Chicago—and then collaborate to develop projects of their own design to address problems facing their community or school.
Inspired by Scholars’ interests* and informed by literature on global learning, “Local Action, Broader Impact” will help Scholars develop the ability to frame and solve problems; consider context, scale, scalability, sustainability, and the impact of potential solutions; and become globally competent young leaders capable of investigating the world, recognizing perspectives, communicating ideas, and taking action!
*When developing programming and curriculum, we draw upon students’ input and interests (garnered through brainstorming sessions, program admissions essays, and more) as inspiration for relevant and exciting STEM projects.
What will Scholars do this summer? Learn, serve, and lead—together!
Through a variety of exciting STEM projects and collaborations, Scholars will:
- Hone problem-solving skills with our “design thinking” workshop. Led by Dr. David Gatchell of Northwestern University, in this two-day workshop Scholars will learn how to apply engineering design frameworks to analyze, situate, and prototype to address various problems of local—and broader—relevance.
- Learn about interconnected issues and global challenges. Other days will begin with an “Issues Forum” (an interdisciplinary panel discussion featuring 3-4 speakers addressing the same topic) and conclude with a 3-4-hour “Project Challenge” (a hands-on, problem-centered project, modeled on a real-world situation and requiring students to collaborate, innovate, and present their work to their peers). Some of the issues and challenges we will address this summer relate to:
- Environmental Stewardship, Global Cooperation, and Policy
- Sustainable Land Use and Food Access
- Understanding Infectious Disease
- Innovative Design Solutions
- Serve through STEM. Each Scholar will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in one of six possible multi-day “Serving through STEM (StS)” projects, which are intended to provide Scholars with further exposure to STEM issues and professionals, experience contributing to a project in the real world, and a sense of how they can have a positive impact on the lives of others through participation in STEM. These “programs within a program” are offered in partnership with faculty members, research centers, and organizations. StS projects take place during the regular program day (four hours per day over the course of seven afternoons), but each has its own unique schedule and field trips. Though diverse in topics addressed, for each StS project Scholars will have to develop assigned deliverables and a presentation, to be delivered to related stakeholders on July 18 and to fellow Scholars and guests during our July 20 “Visitors’ Day.” During Week 2 of our summer program, Scholars will be asked to select one of the following options in which to participate during Weeks 3 and 4 (in-depth descriptions will be provided to Scholars during Week 1):
- Analyzing Data in the Public Interest: Computing Approaches to Investigating Community Health Indicators in the United States. Led by Alana Platt, IIT, Department of Computer Science (Doctoral Candidate). Apply basic computational methods for data collection and analysis to research local and national health and wellness indicators—then share your findings with the broader community.
- Engineering Research and Mentorship: An Introduction to Understanding Diabetes, Its Complications, and Treatments. Overseen by Dr. Eric Brey, IIT, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and led by 14 STEM undergraduates from various universities, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation and IIT’s Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering. Learn about the nature of research, diabetes and its impact on society, and the many ways engineers contribute to new treatments of the disease and its complications—then share what you’ve learned with a group of middle school students.
- Enhancing Design Engineering Education: Iterating “DESIGN. BUILD. TEST.” with the James Dyson Foundation. Led by James Dyson Foundation educators and engineers. Help ignite a passion for engineering in young people—including yourself!—by influencing the re-design of the “DESIGN.BUILD.TEST.” after school program. After participating in the current version, Scholars will analyze DBT and make recommendations for adjustments to James Dyson Foundation Directors and Dyson engineers.
- Nature Education in the City: Developing a Community-Based Youth Volunteer Program for the Chicago Zoological Society and Eden Place Nature Center. Led by Dr. Jo-Elle Mogerman, Chicago Zoological Society. Investigate the applicability of zoo science, ecology, and other natural sciences to the lives of urban residents and the vitality of the city—and propose ways to educate and inspire conservation leadership among Chicago’s young people.
- Urban Recycling in Chicago and Beyond: Promises and Problems. Led by Dr. Matthew Shapiro, IIT, Department of Social Sciences. Conduct cost-benefit analyses of different types of recycling (e.g., electronic, food waste, paper, plastic, metals)—in the case of Chicago and other major cities—and make recommendations to a state or local official.
- Urban Solar: Developing Chicago’s Capacity for Solar Energy. Led by Andrew Barbeau, Grant Klinzman, and Dr. Mohammad Shahidehpour, IIT, Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation. Use Google Earth and knowledge of the city—and what is learned about renewable energy in this StS!—to develop proposals for the specific and optimal placement of solar panels on rooftops or in lots throughout Chicago. Scholars will have the opportunity to present their work and suggested “next steps” to a state or local official.
- Develop as leaders. As part of the summer program, Scholars collaborate in teams to develop and propose Leadership Grant Projects of their own design to be implemented in their home communities and schools over the course of the next 10 months (July 2012-April 2013). Through the awarding and stewardship of these Leadership Grants, the Academy helps provide Scholars with the opportunity, resources, and guidance needed to empower them to promote positive change and continue to develop as leaders. Projects developed in 2011-12 involved starting school-based recycling programs; mobilizing high-achieving peers to tutor, lead fun hands-on science projects with youth, and/or volunteer for community service projects; celebrating STEM professionals from underrepresented groups; and documenting ways that local organizations retain and use rainwater (below).
Through participation in these projects and in dedicated sessions, we also devote time to helping students develop practical STEM skills (like data analysis), professional skills (like presentation and negotiation skills), and college and career literacy (like “Explore a Major” and “Dress for Success!”). Scholars participate in program-wide and StS-specific field trips, as well as a/an:
- Ethics Bowl—Organized by IIT’s Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, our annual Ethics Bowl tournament gives teams of Scholars the opportunity to debate case studies related to various STEM issues. Our impressive cadre of judges includes corporate compliance officers, philosophy professors, members of the Ethics Officer Association, STEM professionals, and others.
- Students’ Choice Enrichment Day—Pick a way to spend your day! Learn about aquaponics in Milwaukee, liberal arts education, financial markets, complexity theory, and more!
- College and Career Day—Hosted in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Collegiate Scholars Program, this event will include sessions about admissions and financial aid, a Q&A forum with admissions counselors, and a college fair attended by more than 50 universities. IIT Boeing Scholars will attend a Career Exploration Fair.
- Boeing Company Global Day of Service—A team of 75 Boeing Company Chicago volunteers contribute hundreds of hours to our Scholars on their annual Day of Service event! Held on IIT’s Main Campus, Boeing volunteers will consult with current Scholars on their Leadership Grant Projects and offer past Scholars (soon-to-be college freshmen) resume advice.
- Scholar Skill-Share—Like a talent show, only more about teaching each other!
While each day of the Summer Session is structured slightly differently, a typical day might look something like this:
8:30-10:00am—Check-in (we start promptly at 10)
10:00am-12:00pm—All students together (e.g., in an Issues Forum or workshop)
12:00-1:00pm—Lunch in The Commons (IIT’s Dining Hall)
1:00-5:00pm—Project time (by cluster, StS, or Leadership Grant Project group)
Overall, through our theme and the collaborative structure of the program, we intend to give students a framework through which to situate and integrate their experiences and observations of Chicago and the world, what they have already learned in school, and knowledge gleaned through participation in our program. We pride ourselves on our engagement of students’ interests and concerns as an entry-point to studying issues of global relevance and to inspire their STEM study. Learn more about what makes us tick.
Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact Marya Spont, Program Director, at 312.567.5193 or email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you soon!