Engaging Youth in STEM Activities and the Engineering Design Process through Distance Learning and Summer Camps

Worksite Location
Work will begin on campus, but 2-3 weeks will be spent at 4-H Camp Wyomoco, Varysburg, New York and 4-H Camp Bristol Hills, Canandaigua, New York
Faculty Sponsor
Susan Ashdown, Helen G. Canoyer Professor and Charlotte Coffman, Senior Extension Associate, Fiber Science & Apparel Design
Other Campus-Based Mentors/Supervisors
Denise Green, Assistant Professor; Fran Kozen, Extension Associate and CIFFI Associate Director; Kristen Morris, Graduate Student, Fiber Science & Apparel Design
Field Mentors/Supervisors
Shawn Tiede, Executive Director and 4-H Program Leader, CCE-Wyoming County; Tim Davis, Interim Executive Director and 4-H Youth Development Issue Director, CCE-Ontario County
Stipend Amount
$4,000
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

Smart Clothing, Smart Girls - Engineering via Apparel Design is a NSF-funded project that engages middle school girls in STEM-based activities and engineering design challenges. The primary objective is to attract girls to STEM through their interest in clothing design and production. In the first two years, learning modules were designed, pilot tested, and refined at on-campus summer experiences. In year three (2015), we will adapt the learning modules to deliver an off-campus version, Style Engineers, via a website and summer camps. The team will create instructional videos and downloadable files for the website; work with educators to provide new, exciting, hands-on programming at two 4-H camps; and assess the learning of the participants as well as the level of support needed for successful implementation at informal education sites.

Roles and Responsibilities

The intern working on this project will:
- Work with the FSAD team to adapt and format activities and to create instructional videos for the website
- Work with the FSAD team and camp staff to deliver the Style Engineers program at two 4-H camps
- Work with the program evaluator to collect, compile and analyze assessment data

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Must be a full-time CHE freshman, sophomore or junior. Graduating seniors are not eligible. Must meet NYS Department of Motor Vehicle requirement, if applicable.

Other qualifications:
- Experience and enthusiasm for working with middle school girls
- Interest in STEM topics and apparel design
- Excellent writing and communication skills
- Ability to work with other team members
- Videography experience would be helpful

Benefits and Skills

- Connections with research and extension faculty and educators
- Understanding how Cornell Cooperative Extension works
- Experience working with youth in informal education settings
- Practice in activity development, program delivery, and project asse