Since learning went online as a result of the global pandemic, keeping elementary school students engaged while they attend school remotely has been an enormous challenge for teachers, parents, and students.
At the Whiting School, a group of electrical and computer engineering students combatted this problem by creating a series of short videos designed to stimulate Baltimore City Schools students’ interest in studying science, technology, engineering, and math topics. In their “Meet the Engineer” series, the Johns Hopkins students talk about their own experiences studying engineering, their research, and what inspires and excites them about the field.
During non-pandemic times, these engineering students volunteer in the Whiting School’s Center for Educational Outreach’s STEM Achievement in Baltimore City Elementary Schools after-school program, focused on strengthening STEM skills in early grades.
SABES coach Stephanie Buggs came up with the idea for the videos. “We hoped the videos would provide students with an engaging experience and opportunity to connect with experts who would inspire their thinking about STEM,” Buggs says.
Graduate student Arlene Chiu’s video focused mainly on the process of designing experiments. “The main goal in creating these videos was to introduce myself to the kids, despite not being able to interact with them in person,” Chiu says. Chiu’s submission, in particular, created a buzz among the program’s female students—not only because of the subject matter, but also because they were excited to see a woman engineer.