Digital STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Social Enterprise Learning) is Bethel’s engaging, project-based summer and after-school program, now offered at several schools on Chicago’s West Side.
Digital STEM gives high school students an opportunity to learn engineering concepts through programming microchips while creating projects that apply to real world situations. Through project-based learning, students begin to be equipped with technical knowledge they can apply to their lives and an education that will drive them to future success.
Students complete six to eight hands-on projects that range from a simple alarm system to more complex temperature controllers and musical buzzers. Using the cumulative knowledge they’ve gained, the student may create a fully functional game they can play with friends. Students are challenged and encouraged to take initiative and be creative using their new skills to design new inventions, improve current tools and solve real world problems through enrichment and extension activities.
The lessons learned in the Digital STEM program introduce students to concepts that can spark their interest in college fields of study such as electrical engineering, computer engineering, engineering technology, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering technology. It also broadens students’ opportunities to consider aerospace, civil, mechanical, environmental, and computer hardware engineering as careers.