Wesleyan’s Lane Center for Service and Leadership recently partnered with Stratford Academy to expand STEM learning experiences for the underserved youth who participate in the College’s outreach program, Aunt Maggie's Kitchen Table (AMKT). Holly Leskovic's fifth grade class facilitated the day along with Lane Center servant leaders, where AMKT children enjoyed STEM exercises and experienced hands-on learning activities in the technology centers located in Stratford’s classrooms. Exercises included 3D coloring and design applications, creating 3D key chains, and learning to code with little robots.
"It was really cool to see kids teaching kids,” said Abbie Price, Lane Center servant leader and Wesleyan junior. “Everyone loved watching the 3D printer create key chains personalized with their names. Even the AMKT participants who tend to be shy and reserved really enjoyed being engaged in the activities."
Jill Amos, Lane Center director said that Leskovic's vision of creating an interactive learning environment that would benefit the children certainly came to life. The children formed quick friendships that made the educational learning experience even more fruitful. “Before we even left Stratford's campus the children were asking when we would be able to partner again!" After their Holiday Program for parents, grandparents, and friends on December 15th, Leskovic's class will host a Holiday Market to sell items the students have made. All proceeds from this event will go toward providing Christmas gifts for the children at Aunt Maggie’s.
Stratford has been a partner and contributor to the AMKT program for several years. In 2014, they donated 60 computers for the children of AMKT to own and take home. Stratford has also offered several workshops for the children to learn SCRATCH and various programming techniques. Additionally, they have partnered in a joint Festival of Trees submission at the Museum of Arts and Sciences.