Icon for: Priya Mohabir

PRIYA MOHABIR

New York Hall of Science
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Priya Mohabir

    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 09:14 a.m.

    Hello Everyone! We are excited to share out on Innovation Institute again this year! Over the last three years, the project has had many iterations on the program design, but as you can hear and see in the video same of the through lines have been making the participants feel like a part of the community, giving them a voice and a platform for engaging with the community, and explore materials and tools to create products that they envision. In working with teens all the best laid plans are sometimes taken askew, an aspect that we embrace as we react to the teens interest and methods of problem solving, allowing them to do things on their own.

    Looking forward to connecting with you! 

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Donna Charlevoix

    Donna Charlevoix

    Program Director
    May 15, 2017 | 12:40 p.m.

    Love the community focus of the project! Our project (see EarthConnections video) is also based in community. I'm curious if you worked with local community activists or organizers in your project and if you did, could you touch on the successes and challenges of engaging folks from the community? 

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Priya Mohabir

    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 03:25 p.m.

    Hi Donna - 

    Will definitely check out your project video. We have not worked with local community activists or organizers, but have worked with an anthropologist to develop trainings and some protocols for collecting observations through community walks and then reflecting on those observations to identify common themes. Some of our participants live in this community which has been a great way to gain an insiders perspective. 

     

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Susie Nakamura

    Susie Nakamura

    Graduate Student
    May 15, 2017 | 02:50 p.m.

    Hi Priya, thank you for sharing your work! I love your project! I appreciate how you approach the youths in a systemic way, including the teaching 21st century skills, salient in today's workforce. I also like how this is project-based learning that responds to community needs. Not only does this program offer a meaningful learning experience, but also instills a sense of belonging to the community. It would be interesting to track their learning trajectory and community involvements over time. I am curious to know how you gather enthusiastic youth! Is it through partnerships with non-profits or through communities?

     
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    Patricia Ruiz
  • Icon for: Priya Mohabir

    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 04:47 p.m.

    Hi Susie - 

    We recruited the teens through a few different strategies. The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) has a long standing youth development program, the Science Career Ladder, that gets a lot of attention from students across the city. In addition to sharing the Innovation Institute opportunity with this group, we also reached out to the schools and programs that we have partnerships with share with another group of students. This enabled us to recruit students that had some knowledge and interest in working with NYSCI, and expose this opportunity to others that might not otherwise see it. 

     
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  • Icon for: Patricia Ruiz

    Patricia Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 04:08 p.m.

    Hi! This is such a great opportunity to engage teens in their community! How do the teens share their work and their learning? Also, they seem to have the opportunity to co-facilitate the experience for others, what a great way to help them share and keep learning. I am also curious to know who ends up participating and how you find your participants. I am also really interested in the trainings and protocols that you have developed for your community walks. Are these things that you can share or do you have any recommendations for others who might be interested in incorporating the community walk into their projects/work? 

     
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  • Icon for: Priya Mohabir

    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 11:07 a.m.

    Hi Patricia! In a previous post I talked about how we recruited our participants. Who ends in the program is a group of high school students that live through out NYC, but have an interest in STEM, exploring the use of tools, and building their skill sets as they design something they identify as being valuable for the community. Demographically, about 80% of the students are coming from underrepresented communities, 75% are female, and are coming from various levels of HS.

    As for the tools we use for community walks, we have been using the AEIOU framework as an ethnographic tool for data collections and analysis. The categories are A - Activities, E - Environments, I - Interactions, O - Objects, U - Users. This has been something that we have used beyond this project as a tool for community observations.

     

     

     
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  • Icon for: Barbara Ericson

    Barbara Ericson

    Researcher
    May 16, 2017 | 02:23 p.m.

    How are you evaluating your results?

     
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    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 11:53 a.m.

    Hi Barbara! 

    We have been using the various pre/ post surveys listed below, in addition to participant focus groups and participant observations. 

    (This was also given to a comparison group)

    I2 Intern Attitude Survey: developed by the project evaluator to assess changes in the nature and extent of participants’ current interest and attitudes about knowledge and skills addressed in the I2 Institute: STEM (engineering); the product design and development process; community research to identify products of value to the community: and interest in future career and education pathways in STEM.  

    I2 Intern Problem-Solving Survey: developed and validated by the Student Success Network in New York City (SSN-NYC) to measure changes in the socio-emotional realm in participants’ ability to address and solve problems in general, as an indicator of the learning and skills acquired in the I2 program, and ability to transfer and apply the skills beyond the institute to other contexts.

     
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    Rowena Douglas

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 06:58 p.m.

    I would be very interested is some examples of the products and processes that the students developed and the problems that they were addressing. How did/do they decide on what problems they have observed from the walks that they are going to pursue? 

     
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    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 11:59 a.m.

    Hi Rowena -  

    We really let the students guide their topics and projects based on their observations, reflections and experiences. Students had to pitch ideas to another and form teams, so not everyone got to see their idea take shape, but joined teams of other students that were doing things things they were interested in pursuing. Examples of this past year's projects are below.

    1) Urban Wonderland, an interactive art installation in Corona Park, the park surrounding NYSCI. Interns developed the design in response to their observations that there was “lots of unused spaces” in the park. The design included: a Chime Forest, Jungle Blocks for physical activity; a Deconstructed Geo-Dome for climbing; a Mirror Maze; Pixel art composed of large size blocks which can be used to create an image, and a Wishing Tree for people to write their wishes.

    2) C.H.I.P. The Next Generation of Sanitation, a roving smart machine that picks up and shreds paper, garbage and waste, and compacts metal to make Corona Park and other parks in NYC more accessible to people.

    3) GQ+ Promoting Gender Equality for Future Generations, a non-wifi dependent app for a mobile device that allows people to locate and join in games going on in parks that promote age and gender equality, and don’t close out people who might want to join ongoing game activities because of these characteristics.

    4) Planned Adolescence, an interactive sex education curriculum and materials designed by and for high school students to address currently inadequate sex education in the schools. The curriculum includes toolkits that address relevant issues in the lives of teens and were informed through focus groups with other teens.

     
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    Rowena Douglas
  • Icon for: Stacey Forsyth

    Stacey Forsyth

    Informal Educator
    May 18, 2017 | 12:23 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing these specific examples. I love the teen-driven nature of your program and that they are given time to explore their community in order to identify and select the problems they are going to tackle. It's really interesting to see the range of projects listed above. How much time do participants commit to the project throughout the year they're involved?

     
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  • Icon for: Lisa Samford

    Lisa Samford

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 01:07 a.m.

    This looks SO COOL! How many students are engaged in the project? How long is their commitment (can they extend for multiple years)? This seems particularly "transferrable" to other communities--is there any notion under consideration about that?

     

     
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  • Icon for: Priya Mohabir

    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 12:01 p.m.

    Hi Lisa! 

    We work with cohorts with 20-25 (or rather start with that, we end with around 18) in a 12 month period. We have not had them extend into multiple years of this program, but have hired some of these participants into our Science Career Ladder program at NYSCI. 

     
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  • Icon for: Julia Griffin

    Julia Griffin

    Producer
    May 17, 2017 | 02:13 p.m.

    What a wonderful way to engage students in STEM learning.  Are there any past projects that they have done that you could highlight? I'm curious to know about the past work they created!

     
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    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 12:09 p.m.

    Hi Julia - 

    The participants come up with really exciting topics to explore, and because it's self guided, are dedicated to go above and beyond to see their projects through.

    I highlighted this past year's group projects in a previous post, but the one that really impressed me was Planned Adolescence, an interactive sex education curriculum and materials designed by and for high school students to address currently inadequate sex education in the schools. The curriculum includes toolkits that address relevant issues in the lives of teens and were informed through focus groups with other teens.

    All the students demonstrate a maturity in their work, but this group faced some challenges that others did not and handled it so well! They not only presented this to an audience of over 250 people, including their peers, and in some cases - parents!

     
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  • Icon for: Eric Hamilton

    Eric Hamilton

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2017 | 11:06 p.m.

    I appreciate the emphasis on community engagement blended with entrepreneurship, and problem solving.  It all adds up to meaningful and powerful learning, but you already know that.  Does II connect in its papers or reports with pedagogy of place research frameworks, or interest-based learning.  Do any of these projects wind up in more public spaces (eg the maker faire or other venues)?

     
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  • Icon for: Priya Mohabir

    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:21 p.m.

    Hi Eric! 

    The culmination of each year has been Maker Faire. The participants not only present throughout both days of Maker Faire, but we host a Maker STEM Night, a free event for HS and college student that demonstrates the diverse range of career opportunities as Makers, where they also present at. While Maker Faire is great, it's the STEM Nights that I truly enjoy. 

    It would be interesting to think about other venues to showcase the student projects. 

     
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  • Icon for: Rowena Douglas

    Rowena Douglas

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 04:58 p.m.

    A new question just occurred to me after watching the video again.  When your students identify a new topic to explore, and the requisite expertise isn't part of the facilitator's background knowledge, to whom do you call on?  I assume there is a broad range of STEM expertise in the museum but do you find you need to find a community electrician, for example? 

     
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  • Icon for: Priya Mohabir

    Priya Mohabir

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:31 p.m.

    Hi again Rowena -

    Great question! The program team for this project really compliment each other's skills sets. David focuses on the question ideation, training around the tools and process of developing products. Truck focuses on the helping them develop content knowledge that supports the development of their products and training around communication and presentation skills. In addition we bring in other Makers and Entrepreneurs that lead workshops for the participants. When things come up that we can't support, we either learn it, explore it with the participants, or phone a friend that might have done some work the program to help. That was a great suggestion - pulling from the expertise in the community would be a great resource!

     
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