Technology in our local community of learning
Educators in the community of Hilltown and Stobswell are working together to make technology and engineering activities more inclusive. This is supported by the many talents present in the local community, and by sharing experiences we promote the opportunities available to young people in this field.
The local community is facing many challenges and we wanted our contribution to strengthen solidarity, to promote ethical and equitable technological empowerment for the community, and to be able to witness the community's positive economic transformation.
Today our Community of Learning consists of Frances Wright Nursery, Rosebank Primary School, Our Lady's RC Primary School, Dens Road Primary School, Clepington Primary School, Morgan Academy, Glebelands Primary School, Dundee Central Library and Dundee Makerspace. We involve professional engineers, business leaders, educators and students that contribute to support our social responsiveness as more stakeholders get involved. We are working together to further develop our local knowledge, to create technology resources that respond to our learners needs and interests.
We focus on a transformational leadership. We want to promote empowerment of the local community in a process that is mindful with outcomes that are valuable to the community and that make a difference to underrepresented audiences and underserved groups.
Project's website: https://hilltownstobswell.tech
Cool cross-curriculum connections to making & video games
Hi Stephen and other project team members,
I am an American high school science teacher who never had a strong identity as a maker ... UNTIL I stepped into my local university's School of Ed makerspace.
I know that learners need to experience what's possible first-hand to see themselves as creative, STEM-engaged problem solvers, and I can tell your work will do just that!
I am curious about Dundee's connection to the gaming industry, as well as what will be put in place on the video game project. Students in my classes are incredibly interested in video games, and I hadn't thought before about how the language art parts of video games (script, story, worldbuilding) could serve to meet educational needs as much as the STEM components!
Thanks for a fun look into your work. :) Kirstin
In reply to Cool cross-curriculum connections to making & video games by Kirstin Milks
Thanks for your comment
As part of our effort to make technology more inclusive, we were looking at skills that are not usually highlighted in our department, such as teamwork, communication skills, and creative skills. There are more problem solving and organisation skills, and together these would support critical thinking, which I think is key to the emancipation of our community.
Here in Dundee you can study game design!
BA (Hons) Game Design and Production Degree | Abertay University
Hi from Scotland
Thanks to the STEMTLnet team for putting together this great event, and for giving us the opportunity to showcase our work to this expert audience.
We are a group of educators from the Hilltown and Stobswell community in Dundee. We are working together to make technology more inclusive, and despite the limited resources there are many local talented people we are learning from.
Looking forward to learning more about the other projects
Hi! Am wondering, what growth outcomes have you seen, in students' interest in STEM and are you seeing them pursue STEM classes in higher years/grades?
What are some of the really amazing things to come out of your maker spaces? Do you find that struggling students continue to struggle in that environment or do they thrive? Thanks so much!
In reply to Curious by Jodi Zeis
Hi Jodi We have seen over…
We have seen over the last couple of years an increase in the number of students choosing technology in high school, though this is due to a variety of factors. We have started to work together 3 years ago mainly with primary school age participants, some of them now in secondary school are still participating, and a significant number of girls from underrepresented audience thanks to a family learning approach. This data is promising but building community resilience is key to keep the momentum and building those relationships takes time, with many uncertainties such as teacher, educator and volunteer turnover.
Thank you, Stephen, for sharing your makerspace community! It's an important, creative space for students to design and engineer their ideas.
In our district, we have makerspace areas within the school libraries and the librarians oversee the school's makerspace. This means some makerspaces are sometimes joined with an audio/video production room for students to make podcasts or videos for ELA. Are your makerspace areas completely separate or joined with another space?
In reply to Thank you! by Elegan Kramer
Hi Elegan, Makerspaces in…
Makerspaces in our primary schools are only available to their students, but the "official" makerspace is open 24/7 open to members. We also work with our local library, they have their makerspace in between bookshelves, open during library hours. They are very helpful, they have a service to schools, so some of the STEM resources can be shared, delivered to schools. We run some of our teachers training there and a code club. There were talks about setting up a podcast recording studio but this has not happen yet. We have recently started to work with a community garden re a hydroponic project, some sort of a "mobile fablab"
It was great to see the commitment to supporting young students in their growth as makers and also just in STEM. We all know young learners are more curious than older students to a large degree. I think it is great to see that curiosity being encouraged and also developed. The connection to the local gaming industry is a great hook, especially if the students' families are working in that field.
Has this been going long enough to see any longitudinal results in the sense of increased pursuit of STEM careers?
Thank you for sharing this with us.
In reply to Young engagement by Doug Hodum
Hi Doug We have been…
We have been working together for 3 years, though other activities have been taking place for a longer time. The main makerspace runs workshops dedicated to young people but it attracts people of all ages. Careers in engineering and technology are targeting high achievers and a lot of programmes are designed to attract this audience. Other aspects of engineering, such as practical woodwork, are more difficult to promote. At the moment we are running a "girls in engineering" project, we hope will bring engineering to a wider audience, though the cultural context is the main determinant