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Virtual Outreach Projects Engage Young Minds

Virtual Outreach Projects Engage Young Minds

By: Angela Costa, Education student and Club Ed Leadership Board Member

My experience with the Club Ed “Rainbow Fish” craft virtual outreach project in the Fall semester taught me how to engage students, expand my teaching styles, form relationships, and have fun learning along with them. As a result of this experience, I felt more confident and prepared going into the Spring semester, when we expanded our craft outreaches even more. 

For the Spring semester, Meggin Kirk, Education Program Director, and I created the “Rosie” craft project. The project consisted of reading the read-aloud book Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, and then demonstrating how to build their own creation using the supplies such as paper plates, colored tape, pipe cleaners, fuzzy balls, popsicle sticks and straws provided by ClubEd. The purpose of the project was to teach the students that building ideas and structures can be challenging; however, it is essential to never give up, similarly to Rosie in the book. The project also incorporated literacy and art into STEM.

I participated in this project because I liked the female lead in the book as an engineer who did not give up, even though her creations were not always a success. I believe this project can empower students to set no limitations within their imagination, knowledge, and curiosity. Students were able to create what they wanted and how they wanted. Participating in this project influenced me within my future practice to reinforce encouragement and positivity to the students. It also showed me that this approach is vital to building students’ confidence and self-esteem especially when faced with a challenge. 

I also facilitated the kaleidoscope outreach project. This project incorporated literacy, art, and STEM as we created kaleidoscopes and read the read-aloud book, All About Light by Lisa Trumbauer. Kaleidoscope kits were ordered and distributed to a first-grade class. The kits included a cardboard tube, beads, and mirrored paper. This project aimed to teach students how light works within the kaleidoscope. Since reflections are made from the mirrored paper, the beads change patterns as the tube is rotated. I created a Google slideshow with objectives, found a link for the read-aloud, and connected how STEM plays a role within the craft. This project enabled the students to articulate their prior knowledge about light and how it was identified in the kaleidoscope. This project was an opportunity for the students to learn and formulate ideas about light. This activity will guide  my future practice as I was able to see the growth and autonomy presented in the students’ minds. It also assisted me in developing discussion topics, questions, and communication regarding learning  inside and outside the classroom. 

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