Mapping A Brighter Future Through STEM
Faculty member partners with organization to strengthen learning opportunities for local youth.
Assistant Professor of STEM Education Eunhye Flavin has partnered with STEM for All Brockton to facilitate a course designed to introduce children from low-income backgrounds to opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“There are many bright children whose ability to learn is hindered by lack of resources,” the faculty member said. “I am excited that this class will positively contribute to the mission of STEM for All Brockton by enhancing access to mathematics education for local youth.”
Flavin’s course will begin this May and run for seven weeks. Designed for fourth and fifth graders, the class will be offered to children from Brockton and Randolph. The students will work together to complete research-based projects that will help them “make sense of the real world through the lens of mathematics,” according to Flavin.
One of their assignments will require the students to examine how Google Maps depicts their community. Leveraging the knowledge that they’ve gained from living in the area, they will determine which areas are not featured so that they can then create their own map using Tinkercad, a 3D modeling program. Their creation is intended to reflect their residential experience more accurately than Google Maps does.
“By mathematizing students’ real-world experiences, my hope is that they discover how enjoyable this material can be,” Flavin said.
In partnership with Avanade, a leading provider of digital, cloud and advisory services, InterConnection, a nonprofit dedicated to digital equity, donated the laptops that Flavin and her students will use throughout the course. Once the class is finished, the devices will be used to support other educational initiatives.
“The generosity of InterConnection and Avanade has made it possible for us to continue educating as many students in our community as possible with the backing of technical equipment that has broadened our scope of activity to include classes like Professor Flavin’s, which will provide students with the tools to understand mathematics in a fun, innovative way,” said Marianie Simeon, founder of STEM For All Brockton.
Flavin has recruited elementary education majors Rachel Marie ’24 and Marissa Solari ’24 to help facilitate the class. Both student teachers believe they will benefit from the program as much as the children will. Solari notes that the opportunity will “expand her appreciation for STEM,” while Marie feels that her participation will have career implications.
“Gaining firsthand experience working with students will allow me to obtain valuable knowledge that I can rely upon throughout my future career in education,” Marie said. “I look forward to helping these students become more confident in STEM.”