CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With many kids stuck at home, one program through the University of Virginia Center for Diversity in Engineering is trying to get them excited about the STEM field.
“I think if they’re excited about learning, then it works,” UVA student Zoe Garman said.
Garman has been teaching classes to kids of all ages the different aspects of STEM - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - in interactive ways.
“We’re teaching food science for fifth and sixth graders, forensic science, and crime investigation for seventh and eight graders,” Garman said.
The idea for the Circle Project stemmed from Jason Jones, the director of inclusive excellence and applied research at UVA, and a group of engineering professors. They brainstormed ways to keep kids and undergraduates engaged virtually during the summer months.
“We talked about a K-12 virtual program to do STEM camps and so these would be taught by students,” Jones said.
The Circle Project began on June 28, and has already taught a variety of engaging classes to 350 students across the eastern seaboard.
Some of the courses Garman teaches involve at-home experiments where the kids turn on their cameras to participate as a class.
“It’s been really fun because we do experiments every day, or cook something every day with food science and keeping it interactive for the kids. It’s really fun for them,” Garman said.
The goal of the program Jones says is simple: “To just inspire future generations of engineers and scientists. The way the world is going, we need more thoughtful inspired future generations to innovate and lead us into the future,” she said.
There’s still time to sign up for the Circle Project, as it runs until August 14.