As part of the Geneva 2020 initiative, sixth-graders from Geneva City School District arrived on campus on Monday, April 10 to learn about the opportunities for enrichment and growth in a college environment. More than 170 students participated in interactive activities focusing on science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) taught by faculty and staff, with HWS students on hand to discuss their college experiences.
“We are excited we had the opportunity to welcome the Geneva Middle School students to campus,” says the Director of Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) Katie Flowers. “This year in particular we wanted visiting students to have the opportunity to explore the sciences and the arts in a college environment.”
Along with Flowers, participating faculty and staff who planned the day’s activities included: Geneva 2020 Program Coordinator Amy Jackson Sellers, CCESL Program Director Shayne Feinberg, Professor of Education Charlie Temple, Education Program Manager at the Finger Lakes Institute Nadia Harvieux and Associate Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science John Vaughn. Throughout the day, students rotated through Vaughn’s demonstration of intelligent robots, Harvieux’s lesson on species diversity in the watershed, and Temple’s banjo performance and sing along. Additionally, Visiting Assistant Professor of Physics Leslie Hebb created a scalable map of the solar system along St. Clair Street and throughout campus which enabled students to understand the size of planets and their distance from the sun. All of the the activities were designed to show the environmental benefits, technological developments and personal growth involved in pursuing STEAM research and careers.
During the robotics demonstration which included a floor cleaning Roomba and an Aibo robot dog, Dominique DeRubeis ’18, a computer science major and student in Vaughn’s “Robotics” class, encouraged the young visitors to explore the field. “If you start learning how to make programs, you will eventually be able to make more advanced robots, which could have a huge impact on how people live their lives in the future,” she said.
Sellers received thank you notes from students after the event. One sxith-grader shared, “The storytelling was my favorite. Thanks again for making this possible for our class and we can’t wait until ninth grade when we come back.” Many students noted their appreciation for the opportunity to hear from President Mark D. Gearan, who told them that the HWS community was committed to supporting their college and career aspirations through Geneva 2020. The students also expressed enthusiasm for the Sodexo catered lunch in the Vandervort Room.
Geneva 2020 was founded on the collective impact model, which brings together all facets of the community, including for-profits, non-profits, faith-communities and others to ensure students have the skills they need to graduate from high school and effectively pursue college degrees and careers. After being inspired by StriveTogether’s impact in Cincinnati, Ohio, Gearan convened a group of community leaders in 2011 to establish Geneva 2020.