SCENE @ CCSU: Learn to be an innovator
Published in New Britain Herald, Sunday December 6, 2015.
By Rick Mullins, Director Institute for Technology & Business Development, CCSU
Inspiring the next generation in STEM innovation, product development, and entrepreneurialism is the goal of CCSU’s “Be an Innovator” program. The first group of participants, involving 25 New Britain high school students and CCSU students, is about to complete the 60-hour, intensive course held at the university’s new Education & Innovation Center located at the downtown campus.
“Be an Innovator” is the result of a collaboration between CCSU’s Elihu Burritt Library, TRiO Educational Talent Search (a federally-funded initiative based at CCSU offering support and guidance for under-represented students to complete high school and pursue higher education), and CCSU’s Institute of Technology & Business Development.
Throughout the course, students become familiar with the process of 3D printing and design, open source software, computer coding, information literacy, database patent and intellectual property research, and the creation a webserver with a Raspberry PI.
The TRiO students, coming from New Britain High School, EC Goodwin Tech, and magnet high schools, are led by TRiO Program Director Thomas Menditto and are tutored by CCSU undergraduates representing multiple disciplines at the University. The building of relationships between the CCSU and high school students helps the younger students gain confidence in building departmental and peer relationships when choosing a college major.
Carl Antonucci, library director, and his staff were key in the preparation, design, and delivery of the program. Sharon Clapp, Susan Slaga-Metiver, Briana McGuckin, Martha Kruy, and Steven Bernstein each delivered a unique component to the education and innovation segment of the class.
The Burritt Library wants all students to think of the library as an innovative business, research, and science resource for product design, research, validation, and model production. In doing so, the library becomes a resource to enhance classroom learning. In addition, current students on campus will gain a broader knowledge of resources on both campuses for their educational development.
The success that has been realized in the implementation of this program is leading CCSU ITBD to offer this program to the public in an open-enrollment, non-credit format in the spring of 2016.