The Utah STEM Action Center (STEM AC) is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University’s Community, Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment (CREATE) Lab to provide hands-on technology learning experiences for Utah students.
“The partnership with CREATE Lab allows students to learn programming, data analytics and robotics in the context of cultural, environmental and social issues,” said Dr. Tamara Goetz, executive director of the Utah STEM AC. “These projects align with our mission to support the growing need for opportunities to learn computing, and is thrilling for Utah teachers and students.”
With support from a $250,000 grant from the Infosys Foundation USA, the CREATE Lab is expanding beyond the Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia region to include satellite labs in Utah and Georgia.
Thanks to STEM AC’s strong network of educators and administrators, along with government and business leaders, the center is positioned to support and coordinate engagement in more than one location. STEM AC will establish two local CREATE Lab satellites at Southern Utah University and Utah Valley University to train local schools and teachers in the CREATE education model.
“The Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab is a wonderful combination of innovative, hands-on technology programs and local community action,” said Vandana Sikka, chairperson of the Infosys Foundation USA. “By combining these powerful forces we can empower the next generation of students with the creative confidence to be successful.”
The CREATE Lab has produced a number of technologies relevant to the classroom, such as low-cost air quality monitors, explorable panoramic imagery, and kits that help students incorporate robotics into projects in any subject area. The lab began its regional satellite network in 2011, partnering with schools of education to help teachers incorporate these and other tools into their practice, and empower learners to employ technology for social good.
Dror Yaron, CREATE Lab director of outreach, said expanding nationally promises new opportunities as new populations and new ideas are added to the network. The satellite labs are intended to make important contributions to workforce development.