KMMC PARTNERING TO BRING STEM/STEAM SERVICE LEARNING TO SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY
PENFIELD, N.Y., NOVEMBER 22, 2017 – Through their partnership with RIT and Brighton Central School District, Kids Miracle Making Club (KMMC) is fostering a unique approach to STE[A]M Service Learning in Monroe County schools. Enrichment classes in grades 6 through 8 at Brighton’s Twelve Corners Middle School are learning about science, technology, engineering, art and math through a partnership with RIT’s Effective Access Technology program, whose projects focus specifically on providing more effective access for those with physical and developmental challenges.
In a pilot program this fall, Access Tech project leaders are mentoring Twelve Corners students through a hands-on project, the making of a therapeutic device known as a “Moon Pad” originally created to assist young children with autism and other sensory challenges at the Rochester Hearing & Speech Center. The device helps young pre-school children, ages 3 through 5, some who are easily distracted and some who have difficulty in hearing instructions, as they transition from room to room in their class activities.
The mentoring process involves students and graduates from RIT explaining a basic design process that ranges from identifying user needs to coming up with a final design, all while educating students in the aspects of STEAM involved in the process. The final step, and key element of service learning, is the delivery of the MoonPadsTM created by Twelve Corner students to the clinicians who initially described the need and the children they work with. This is a great “in-school” example of the club’s “Kids Turning Learning into Helping Kids in NeedTM” movement that is the foundation of the Kids Miracle Making Club.
Plans are being discussed to implement a full STEAM Service Learning program at the Twelve Corners Middle School in January 2018. The mentoring program will be delivered in a progressive fashion beginning with 6th grade students learning fundamental processes demonstrated by RIT students, 7th grade students manipulating those processes as they come to understand their underlying principles and 8th grade students going out into the community to determine end-user needs and designing their own solutions to them. Access to real-time, online tools such as those used at RIT – 3D printers, CNC routers and others – should add to the hands-on learning experience.
The Kids Miracle Making Club (KMMC) is all about learning, hands-on learning through projects focused on making a difference in the community. The approach is called service learning. What makes the club unique is all projects focus on enhancing the lives kids with physical and/or developmental challenges. Club kids explore, develop and share their natural talents and skills all while making a positive impact on the lives of other kids. “Explore, develop, share…watch miracles happen!”
Steve Pellow, Kids Miracle Making Club 585.749.7515