At Youth Innovation Club, we connect scientists, engineers, artists, and innovators with educators to bring hands on curriculum to elementary and middle school students in the Santa Barbara area. We collaborate with passionate teachers, provide mentoring opportunities through STEAM enrichment activities for students. We believe that a successful educational program requires the right combination of subject expertise, relatable role models, multifaceted teaching approaches, and consistency.
The following are key aspects of our programs and activities:
The greater Santa Barbara area is home to a world-class research university as well as numerous high tech corporations ranging from small start-ups to larger public companies. Consequently, there is a sizeable group of people in the area that both possess the technical expertise to provide guidance and mentorship in STEM fields and are looking to give back to the community that is their home. Many of these individuals also have young children in our schools, and so are particularly motivated to provide support in these areas. Our founder established and continues to grow this network through her many years working in local tech industry coupled with the various STEM outreach programs that she has run. Many of these mentors have already participated in programs and events that we have run and have shown a desire to continue to remain involved.
Rather than building entire programs for scratch, we partner with other local organizations that are aligned with our mission and with whom we can work with to achieve our goals. We currently have several partnerships in place with whom we have already successfully piloted several outreach programs, many of which have relied on our network of volunteer mentors and experts.
Adding ART in STEM
Every student is unique in his or her learning process. Adding art elements in STEM helps to integrate creativity and design concepts into the learning process, which is critical in creating a multifaceted learning experience. We believe that using art as a way to inspire students to learn and explore in STEM would be more effective than targeting specifically to gender or ethnic groups. STEAM disciplines provide an ideal platform for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. We enable students to engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process. Our goal is cultivating the scientists, engineers, artists, innovators, educators, and leaders of the 21st century!