DANBURY, Conn. – The Connecticut Science Center’s Teen Innovation Program has expanded its services with the location of its first satellite program at the Danbury Public Library this summer.
Now in its fourth year, the center’s program has expanded to include middle and high school students, with the total number of participants climbing to more than 80 this year, according to a press release.
The Science Center’s Teen Innovation programs were launched in the summer of 2012 to bring together urban teens to learn STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) principles, gain work experience, engage in peer-to-peer mentoring and 21st century skill-building, and work alongside established scientists, according to a press release.
The program engages students through their first year of college, with students returning each summer to complete progressively challenging projects, according to a press release.
In their second year, students are paid as interns. High-school age "ambassadors," who have completed several summers worth of programs act as mentors for younger “apprentices," according to a press release. In addition, ambassadors gain real-world job skills as they take on advanced tasks, including project budgeting and research, according to a press release.
“Teen Innovation programs let teens experience science as working scientists and engineers do: they envision an exhibit or a robot challenge, then design, test, experiment, and redesign until they achieve the goal they set out to accomplish,” said Hank Gruner, vice president of programs at the Connecticut Science Center, in a press release. “Teen Innovation program participants are preparing themselves for careers in Connecticut’s STEM work force, which is essential to maintaining our place as a science and technology leader.”
Twelve Danbury students are enrolled in the four-week program, which covers coding, design, 3D printing, robotics, arduinos, Raspberry Pi programming, and drones. In conjunction with their educational sessions, they also will be sharing their projects and exhibits with library customers as they progress, according to a press release.
“We are inspiring the future,” said Aurelio Muraca, Danbury Library‘s technology program coordinator, in a press release. “It’s amazing to see the ideas generated by these kids and how fast they put them into action. The value of this program will reverberate for years to come.”
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