Capitol Technology University is proud to partner with a wide variety of groups, industries, and organizations to make STEM education more accessible for all. One of the ways we try to help bring STEM education to younger students, K-12, is by partnering up with some of our favorite community affiliates to assist with their projects and host events at our Laurel campus.
Do you know who we partner with?
This year Capitol has hosted two STEM outreach groups so far, Jump Start Juniors on March 22nd and Maryland MESA today on the 5th of April.
Jump Start Juniors saw high school students with an interest in STEM come to campus for a taste of our programs and college life. Called Jump Start Juniors because the high school students who visit us are all in their junior year, we invite students from a variety of local schools and organizations to visit our campus and get a feel for some of the learning opportunities available in STEM fields.
Their visit included demonstrations by the robotics club, cyber lab crew, fusion lab managers and the Space Flight Operations and Training Center. We also invited our unmanned and autonomous systems program partner, Textron Systems, to do a drone demonstration. The day ended with a student panel that answered questions posed by our guests and a brief admissions presentation on some of our available programs and resources at Capitol.
Maryland MESA, which stands for Math Engineering Science Achievement, is a program that helps students prepare to pursue STEM education in college. MD MESA, “Targets students who are traditionally underrepresented in these fields—specifically, minority and female students [and] helps students develop leadership skills, improve their academic performance, work in a team, and compete effectively.”
Today MD MESA students in elementary, middle, and high school visited Capitol to work on projects for several STEM focused competitions. The competitions are part of their AACPS MESA Regional Competition, which acts as a qualifier for students to enter the MESA USA National Engineering Design Competition held each June. Capitol Tech students are asked to judge the very fun, team based competitive event.
Potential student projects this year included: Elementary or Secondary bridge design and construction, Elementary storybook theme park ride design, Elementary or Secondary wearable technology, Elementary scratch (computer programming), Middle School Alice (a 3D programming environment challenge), High School cyber robot (a robot programmed to run a maze), and the Secondary National Engineering Design Challenge using Arduino technology.
Besides MD MESA and Jump Start Juniors, Capitol also partners with organizations like the ACE Mentor Program and First Robotics. In the past we have partnered with First Robotics to both host events and provide some of our students as mentors to their teams. Last year, robotics club member Annie Yang worked as a mentor for FIRST Team 6893 Bladerunners, an all-girls FIRST robotics Team. The Bladerunners won the 2018 Rookie Inspiration Award in their Northern Virginia Event on March 4, 2018.