We have been inspired by Iridescent Learning since our inception. Each of the engineering challenges is well thought out and we love how mentors are able to provide feedback on the design process. We plan to use the Curiosity Machine in our elementary program.
This organization creates user friendly and engaging platforms to assist youth and educators in STEM related fields. Their programs include face to face, online mentorship, professional development and peer to peer methods. They have a large network of professionals that contribute and collaborate along side them. I regularly refer to their "Curiosity Machine" platform when I am mentoring classroom teachers. It is a high quality learning tool that makes learning science interactive while teaching important web-literacy skills like reading, writing and participating on the web.
Iridescent does a great job with reaching out to community schools to foster STEM education for children. They have numerous programs and I am involved in the program called Curiosity Machine. Curiosity Machine has over 90 activities that children can build and participate in to learn about the STEM fields. Mentors like me help them along on this journey. The kids feel connected when interacting with someone in the STEM field. I am privileged to be part of this organization where I can help the next generation of children explore the STEM field and the opportunities that await them in the future.
I first started working with Iridescent in college, where I was involved in a family science program. Using common household materials, we helped children and their parents build rudimentary engineering devices (i.e. balloon-propelled cars, sky scrapers, suspension bridges, etc) and taught them basic scientific principles. Shortly after, Iridescent launched Curiosity Machine, which is an online version of the family science program. Children participating in the program are guided by mentors via the online platform to design, build, and rebuild various items of their choosing.
I have been volunteering for Curiosity Machine for more than two years now, and I can say the program has really grown since then. The development team is constantly and actively looking for ways to make the mentoring experience better for both the mentees and mentors, and new design challenges are always being produced. We've expanded from individuals participating in the program, now to include summer camps and entire classes from different schools across the country. It has been awesome working with the kids and to see the advancements Iridescent Learning has made in getting science to be more accessible to the general public.
The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering has been thrilled to partner with Iridescent and Boeing in creating Engineering Design Challenges for the 2016 Divisional and State STEM Competitions. They also provided an Educator Workshop for our teachers at State and we received glowing feedback about how valuable both the challenge and the workshop were for our 400 participants. TAME has also been proud to partner with Iridescent and Boeing for regular Family STEM Nights at a middle school in El Paso, Texas. The five-week sessions there brought parents and children together to design, build, and test specific projects to encourage families to engage in learning. We look forward to continuing this work helping inspire students in STEM across the Lone Star state.
We have worked with Iridescent on a few projects and had nothing but a positive experience with them. They have truly remarkable staff who are dedicated to their work. We always look forward to collaborating with them whenever the opportunity arises.
I am the STEM Lab Teacher at Schmitt Elementary in Columbus, Indiana, and this is my second year using Iridescent's Curiosity Machine. All grades (K-6) visit STEM lab as a Specials class once a week, for a total of 740 students. Grades 3-6 bring their Chromebooks to STEM lab for the online platform of Curiosity Machine. We have online and in class mentors, which are engineers from Cummins, Inc. All grades follow the Engineering Design Process which is part of each Curiosity Machine challenge. Each challenge is divided into 3 sessions (3 weeks). Iridescent has been a vital component in the development of our STEM lab.
Iridescent has empowered girls globally to tackle social challenges in their communities through technology. By hosting a challenge called Technovation to encourage girls to form teams, come up with a mobile app addressing a challenge, and then pitch it to judges globally, this nonprofit takes a comprehensive approach to STEM learning. I've personally seen the confidence that girls have gained through this program in places like Bangalore to Silicon Valley.
I had the privilege of collaborating with Iridescent to develop curriculum for Family Science Nights that my school cohosted. They are nothing short of amazing, flexible, supportive, and inspiring! The experiences that Iridescent helped create were hands-on and engaging. Both the parents and kids thoroughly enjoyed every week! I can't wait to work with them again in the spring!