Over the past three years, students and teachers at the five Early College STEM Schools (ECSS) have enjoyed clubs that engage in robotics, app design, science experiments and tech challenges that take place after school. Additionally, schools participated in a series of quarterly “STEM Launch” events in which we collaborated with college partners to engage students in hands-on STEM activities and expose them to college and career opportunities. To give some examples, these day-long events saw students build pumpkin throwing catapults at the Illinois Institute of Technology during Fall STEM Launch, program Makey Makey’s as turntables to mix their own beats at Truman College during Winter STEM Launch, and build submersible robots at Columbia College with After School Matters during Spring STEM Launch. The culminating event was the two-week long Summer STEM Launch camp at Robert Morris University where the student market forces demanded innovation. So what is STEM Launch version 2.0 going to look like this year? In a name, Hood Hacks.
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