IGNITE! is an innovative STEM education program designed to inspire and motivate, middle and high school students to learn about STEM!
Using a hands-on NASA curriculum integrated with standards-based, space-themed computer games, and an exciting e-mentoring program, IGNITE! is designed to engage ALL students in summer and after school programs. However, there is a particular focus on engaging underrepresented and underserved students in STEM. The IGNITE! program provides:
- The IGNITE! curriculum and computer games are organized into content strands that address exciting topics such as Forces and Motion, Rocketry/Aeronautics, Robotics, Moon Earth System, Planetology/Astrobiology, Survival, Exploration and Design Challenges. Since the program is designed to be flexible, the curriculum, content areas, and games can be chosen and adapted to meet specific student or program needs.
- The IGNITE! e-mentoring program and software connects learners with local and national STEM experts in various content areas.
- To support effective implementation, IGNITE! provides a high quality and flexible professional development program. Designed and led by STEM curriculum and content experts, IGNITE! uses inquiry based methods and best practices to help educators learn STEM content and prepare to implement specific curriculum in their own classrooms.
- Educators use an online centralized platform, the IGNITE! Dashboard, to gain access to the curriculum, games, and e-mentoring program. The Dashboard provides a cost-effective infrastructure that supports communication and collaboration among educators, students, mentors and program leaders.
The first IGNITE! program, NASA IGNITE!, began in May 2011 as a partnership among the Indiana Afterschool Network (IAN), Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), Indiana Youth Institute (IYI), and WisdomTools Inc. Funded by NASA’s Summer of Innovation program, this innovative STEM program serves various 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) Program, as well as other summer and after school programs throughout Indiana.
The IGNITE! model and infrastructure can be used implement and scale a variety of STEM initiatives at the local, state, or national level. To help scale and sustain new efforts, IGNITE! staff can help facilitate education and business partnerships that build long term sustainability of various STEM initiatives.
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