Congratulations to New Mexico State University for their inclusion of high school students in an immersive research experience.
Readers of this blog know that one of my missions is to support and encourage these wonderful collaborative experiences to help inspire our students. For too long there has been a huge chasm between the different levels of the educational system which I feel has done a tremendous disservice to our students.
In this climate of punitive high stakes testing in which end of semester common assessments can determine a teacher’s employment future, it is no wonder they avoid labs and research-who has the time? In this climate of diminished funding for public higher education, where professors futures are determined by their research output and ability to secure grant funding, who has time to work with students, let alone high schoolers?
Yet, we all know collaboration, communication, innovation, critical thinking, and research literacy are necessary to truly fulfill the promise and potential of our public educational system, a system that to truly serve the common good should be a seamless Pre-k-16 system. A system in which content knowledge and skill application are interwoven.
At New Mexico State 5 high school students were immersed in the College of Engineering and learned design, project management, programming, 3-d printing, as well as other essential research skills. One of the most important skills I would suggest was to deal with the frustration and mistakes imbued in any creative process.
Thanks to writer Tiffany Acosta for her article and New Mexico State University for jumping in the messy world of innovation and inspiring us all!
Questions for Discussion
- What were some of the highlights for the high school students?
- What were some of the benefit from the “near-peer” NMSU Engineering students?
- How could they consider expanding this or “scaling” this project?
- How could this model be implemented in other disciplines?
- How can high school and university level staff more effectively collaborate?
- What else does this inspire you “dream, learn, do?”