A new series of after-school programs being launched at Brock University is aimed at encouraging Niagara youth to develop 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking and co-operation while being exposed to STEM subject areas.
With educators across the country expanding their focus from Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programming to include the Arts (STEAM), Brock’s Youth University is launching Innovation Labs.
Devin Bright, a curriculum specialist with Youth University, said kids might not even notice they are learning while Brock students lead them through activities where they can experiment with 3D printing, design their own video game or transform a stuffed animal with EV3 robotics.
“The lab gives young people a unique opportunity to learn skills and knowledge and then apply their learning in a hands-on setting,” Bright said.
The Innovation Labs include robotics kits, Arduino coding tools, 3D printing, building materials, and other equipment. The programs take place on campus in computer labs, science labs and seminar spaces.
Youth University Director Kate Cassidy said the STEAM programming helps Canadian youths prepare for jobs in a global economy rooted in innovation and technology.
“Students increasingly need more in-depth knowledge of technology, math and science, plus the ability to integrate and apply that knowledge in creative ways to solve real-life problems – that’s where the arts come in,” Cassidy said. “It’s important to start early. We want to help prepare young people for the future they will face, where critical thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship—along with STEAM areas—will be key.”
Young people in Grades 3-8 can sign up for Toy Hacking, Art & Architecture, Math in Motion, RPG Gamemaker and Math Club sessions. Programs for winter begin January 11 and are held from 5:30-7:30 p.m.at Brock University.
For more information, or to register, visit http://brocku.ca/youth-university/kids-and-families/innovation-labs