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Immersive summer programs expose local students to future careers

Immersive summer programs expose local students to future careers

August 14, 2019 at 2:00pm

Through the Education Effect's immersive summer programs at FIU, more than 125 students from Little Haiti, Overtown and Liberty City were exposed to careers in STEM, the humanities and law. 

The Education Effect—an initiative that addresses pressing educational and social needs of students from elementary through high school —welcomed more than 20 students and 15 parents for the Parent and Child Bridge Engineering Summer Camp June 10-14. During the four-day camp, students from Jesse J. McCrary, Jr. Elementary, Frederick Douglass Elementary and Liberty City Elementary and their families gathered at the Engineering Campus to learn about bridge engineering.

A collaboration with FIU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the students learned about different types of bridges as well as 3D printing and its future in bridge engineering. Other activities included field trips to a 3D printing lab on campus and hands-on activities such as using balsa wood for bridge models, printing 3D bridge models, creating paper bridges and K’Nex structures.

“Exposing students and their parents to different careers from a young age is an important indicator for future success,” said Donne Hale Jr., director of the Education Effect. “Through the Education Effect, we are leveraging FIU’s expertise in key areas to help provide these students with experiences that we are hoping will inspire them to pursue higher education." 

Education Effect also led and implemented a two-week program for 75 students from Brownsville Middle School, Jose De Diego Middle School and Horace Mann Middle School, which promoted leadership, empowerment, advocacy and personal development as well as encouraged the students to be civically active and purse higher education. 

The LEAD Project, which oversaw the summer program, is a collaboration with FIU's College of Law and Education Effect meant to engage students in critical thinking, civics and environmental justice. Participants explore topics that impact their community, while developing solutions to educate others. In addition to working with law students, the middle school students participated in campus tours, field trips, a speaker series and recreational activities.

For the past eight years, the Education Effect has collaborated with two Miami-Dade County Public School high schools, one elementary school and their feeding patterns to support efforts to boost student achievement, graduation rate and ensure students are college and career ready.

Through targeted cohort-based programing, teacher development programs, parent academies and internships, the Education Effect is a model partnership on how universities can work with their local school districts to positively impact student success.