Meet Ashley O’ Neil, a Central Michigan University Educational Technology master’s degree student applying her education every day as the program coordinator for the Center for Excellence in STEM Education at CMU.
At the STEM Center, Ashley coordinates field trips, family events, afterschool activities and summer camps for K-12 students. At these events, students get to explore math and science in fun and engaging ways that they may not experience in their every day classrooms.
The STEM Center also opens its doors for “make times” where students can come in and use a variety of science technology and equipment. In addition to open hours, the center runs a library of science equipment that teachers can check out to use in their classrooms, helping to expand student’s knowledge and STEM curiosity.
One of Ashley’s personal goals is to familiarize herself with new technology and skills so that she can incorporate them into the Center. Her Master of Arts in Educational Technology is doing just that. With all of her classes, she can see the immediate and long-term benefits to the skills and practices that she is learning, leading to direct, real-life applications.
Recalling a course from last fall, Ashley notes that “Many of the projects I started in EDU 653 were great launching points for things that I use regularly in the center. I took almost all of the prototypes [using web-based tools] that I created and refined them to be used for family and student events”. She created projects with tools such as Adobe Spark, Piktochart, and ThingLink. “The prototypes I made allowed me to give instructions, tutorials, and resources to families via online platforms. I have continued to use several of the sites that we learned about in class for projects here.”
Ashley will be graduating in the summer of 2017 and plans to continue her work with the STEM Center, using the skills and resources from her degree to inspire students beyond the classroom.
To learn more about Ashley’s work and the Center, tune in to EdTech Currents on Monday, March 20, 2017 at 8:00 EST, or visit cmich.edu/stemed.