During the spring, I had the opportunity to meet with MOUSE students at MS 223 The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx. Jessica Chung, MOUSE Squad Coordinator, and her students Christian and Diego sat down with me to discuss how the MOUSE program was impacting their school and students.
MOUSE’s student technician team assisted in attracting other grants including a Connected Learning grant from the Department of Commerce. For several years, these resources have assisted in bringing technology and devices into their classrooms.
The STEM minded environment and curriculum is brewing a new kind of excitement in this Bronx neighborhood. The student technicians that participate in the MOUSE program have the ability to take apart computers and put them back together, assist teachers with in classroom activities and their fellow peers in presentations.
With the help of a CUNY intern, students are maintaining 200+ devices for the school. Open enrollment for this program takes place in the fall and spring and is about six-twelve weeks, one-two hours a week with two staff MOUSE coordinators. Students who are participating are in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades, 11-14 years old. On average they range from 12-18 members during a session.
I sat down with Christian who is 13 years old and has been participating in the program for two years. He has had the opportunity to focus on a few very cool 3D printing projects including ReImagining the South Bronx community. This allowed the students to break down their neighborhood and build 3D models of what they would want their blocks to look like.
Diego who is in the 6th grade discussed participating in this program for the first time. He also was working on the Re-imagining the South Bronx project. It was exciting to him that he was not only reimagining his block, but also using a 3D printer to bring it to life and conveniently these lessons all meet Common Core Standards.
Each student used customer service skills by speaking and asking questions of local organizations, they had to explain how they fixed the problem, and presented it to the “client.” Not to mention that in addition to the 3D printing, the students were learning financial literacy for every day life by budgeting how they would actually carry out this reinvented block.
With the success of this program and projects thus far, MS 223 will be launching a software engineering pilot in the 9th grade this school year.
“MOUSE is thrilled to work closely with MakerBot so that students like these at MS 223 can take learning into their own hands and envision new and exciting futures for their communities,” stated Daniel Rabuzzi, MOUSE Executive Director.
MakerBot and MOUSE have partnered across all the NYC boroughs. MOUSE is looking forward to extending its partnership to reach many more NYC schools in the new school year.