This research focuses on helping to build the Connect Center as a leader in informal learning in multiple ways. The project aims to add a STEM informal learning program to already existing arts and music programming, and to use assessments to better understand what the Cohoes youth are looking for in STEM programming. In addition, the team looks for ways to apply lessons learned from previous research and programming to help the Connect Center create assessments and collect the data and stories necessary for increased funding and improved learning outcomes for Cohoes youth.

Summer 2021 Accomplishments:

  • Built connection with the community this summer; made Connect Center t-shirts, created signs and flyers and canvased Cohoes speaking to community members to increase awareness of the Center and the summer programming.
  • Created an asset database for the Connect Center
  • Contributed to the 6-week steam camp programs by running stations and creating engaging activities around robotics, Turing Tumble, button making, free drawing, art collage, painting and coloring, measuring wind speed, minetest, scratch, 7 Billion Humans, Dungeons & Dragons, and video game battles.
  • Conducted a one-week FLOSS STEAM camp. In this camp, the Vistas facilitated the children in their exploration of and engagement with computers and coding. 
  • Began a research project examining student behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement as well as their sense of community at the FLOSS camp. The research project was approved, and the analyses are underway.

Next Steps:

  • Further develop analyses and write up of the research project conducted this summer
  • Create a follow-up project for next summer
  • Continue and expand upon the community outreach and STEAM programming for next summer utilizing what was learned this summer.

Contact: Michele McColgan or Megan Kelly