Youth Services staff spent the weekend exploring an innovative new STEM related curriculum.
We are collaborating with Time Warner Cable to increase the number of STEM-focused classes and clubs offered through our Afterschool programs. The resulting Tech Squad program will debut at five Los Angeles middle schools in March and will offer 100 students instruction in Information Technology.
Last Saturday, we began the process of training our site staff on this new STEM related curriculum. The training, which was held at Garvanza Elementary School, provided our team with innovative tools to help create and incorporate these technologies into our existing afterschool programs.
"Our role at YPI is to expose families and communities and youth to technology and 21st century skills," said Curriculum and Evaluation Coordinator, Nancy Arias-Curiel. "Tech Squad is an extension of our existing computer literacy efforts."
"We are focusing on STEM for a couple of reasons," Arias-Curiel said. "First, with the new common core coming in, it allows the students to know how to work a computer and maneuver around different softwares. Second, it will also help prepare them for college and career opportunities related to STEM.”
Tech Squad incorporates three key program elements: hardware repair, troubleshooting and network management.
Arias-Curiel said this approach to Information Technology will empower students to take ownership and leadership when it comes to solving problems.
Sites will offer workshops after school, twice a week, for twelve weeks. Students who participate in the Tech Squad workshops will receive a certification and collect badges as they complete lessons. Our students will also be invited to attend an annual tech convention where squad members from all over Los Angeles will showcase their club’s work, computer network and share best practices.
Tech Squad members will also serve as in-house IT experts at their schools and use their skills to troubleshoot problems throughout the day.
For more information about the project, contact:
Youth Services Curriculum and Evaluation Coordinator
t: (818) 302-3242