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IncredibleMinds Afterschool Career Roleplaying Program

IncredibleMinds Afterschool Career Roleplaying Program

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Published by FutureWorldz
This whitepaper was originally written for the NASA education team. IncredibleMinds offers experiential and immersive STEM career education to minority youth. The program addresses three critical educational needs: strengthening the STEM pipeline, targeting under-served locations and offering parental career guidance. We achieve this through the innovative use of video games, modeling and simulation tools and an extensible career roleplaying framework. We use the afterschool environment to serve minority high school students, parents, guardians, teachers, and counselors.

Video game, modeling and simulation technologies offer powerful, hands-on opportunities to recreate reality; visualize engineered systems and scientific phenomena; model complex systems, and engage youth in the practice of science and engineering.

Tomorrow’s engineering and scientific workforce must possess 21st century skills and be able to work with industry modeling and simulation tools. Modeling and simulation tools offer a rich, engaging and scalable environment. The roleplaying of real-life situations promotes the development of critical thinking skills, and humanizes science by discerning its importance to everyday life. It can also develop importance skills needed in the real world, e.g., teamwork, collaborative learning and effective communication The use of roleplaying as an instructional strategy has been part of the repertoire of teaching methodology for many years.

This whitepaper was originally written for the NASA education team. IncredibleMinds offers experiential and immersive STEM career education to minority youth. The program addresses three critical educational needs: strengthening the STEM pipeline, targeting under-served locations and offering parental career guidance. We achieve this through the innovative use of video games, modeling and simulation tools and an extensible career roleplaying framework. We use the afterschool environment to serve minority high school students, parents, guardians, teachers, and counselors.

Video game, modeling and simulation technologies offer powerful, hands-on opportunities to recreate reality; visualize engineered systems and scientific phenomena; model complex systems, and engage youth in the practice of science and engineering.

Tomorrow’s engineering and scientific workforce must possess 21st century skills and be able to work with industry modeling and simulation tools. Modeling and simulation tools offer a rich, engaging and scalable environment. The roleplaying of real-life situations promotes the development of critical thinking skills, and humanizes science by discerning its importance to everyday life. It can also develop importance skills needed in the real world, e.g., teamwork, collaborative learning and effective communication The use of roleplaying as an instructional strategy has been part of the repertoire of teaching methodology for many years.

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Published by: FutureWorldz on Jan 25, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/02/2012

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INCREDIBLE
MINDS
 AFTERSCHOOL CAREER ROLEPLAYING PROGRAM
AUTHORS
 Todd Borghesani, Esq.Bruce MilliganKeenan Grenell, Ph.D.Roderick Weldon Woodruff 
WHITE PAPER
 
1
 
IncredibleMinds addresses threecritical educational needs:strengthening the STEM pipeline,targeting under-served locationsand offering parental careerguidance. We achieve thisthrough the innovative use of video games, modeling and simulation tools and an extensible careerroleplaying framework. Using NASA content and subject matter expertise,IncredibleMinds offers experiential and immersive STEM career education tominority youth. We use the afterschool environment to serve minority highschool students, parents, guardians, teachers, and counselors.Research continues to suggest that career decision-making is one of themajor challenges young people face, and that parents need assistance inhelping their child choose a career path (Otto
,
1996). A survey by theNational Association of Colleges and Employers (1996) confirmed thatparents most heavily influence career choices. Yet, few resources areavailable to help parents understand and fulfill their roles in their children’scareer decision-making process.In our initial areas of operation, Portsmouth, Virginia and Washington, D.C.,there is a cogent need for an innovative solution that bridges high school tocollege; and that bridges the needs of industry and education. SoutheasternVirginia has a regional economy in need of transformation. A shortage of skilled workers threatens to halt progress on emerging and expandingindustries. This region is home to one of our nation’s critical nationaltechnologies, modeling and simulation.Washington, D.C. is one of the worst school districts in America. Only 29%
What is the EducationalNeed?
INCREDIBLE
MINDS
 AFTERSCHOOL CAREER ROLEPLAYING PROGRAM
 
2
percent of D.C high-school graduates enroll in college within 18 months of graduation verses 48% nation-wide, and only 9% of them graduate fromcollege within five years.
Education Week 
, in its annual grading of the 50states and the District of Columbia. ranked the District last, giving it a D-plusoverall and an F for K12 student achievement and college readiness.The IncredibleMinds CareerRoleplaying Program initiallyaddresses the need for youth topursue STEM careers in NASAaerospace and aviation. Ourextensible framework supportsbroad application across thediverse interests of youth andneeds of NASA missiondirectorates, Federal agencies and industry. IncredibleMinds can address thenation's need for “in-demand” careers, including: aerospace engineering,behavioral sciences, biosciences, chemical engineering, chemistry, civilengineering, clinical medicine, cognitive and neural science, computationalsciences, ecology and environment, electrical engineering, geosciences,immunology, materials science, mathematics, mechanical engineering,microbiology, molecular biology and genetics, naval architecture,nanotechnology, neuroscience, ocean engineering, oceanography,pharmacology, plant and animal science, physics, and space and planetarysciences (Thompson, 2005).IncredibleMinds is built from the authentic stories and career competenciesof the engineers, mathematicians, scientists and technologists behind NASALangley Research Center’s world-class aerospace and aviation research.Across the areas of aerospace and aviation, we will identify and drawresources from the following NASA Langley teams: Flight Simulation andSoftware Branch (Computer, Electrical, Mechanical and AerospaceEngineer), Structures and Materials Facilities (Materials Engineer/Scientist)and Scientific and General Purpose Computing Complex (Modeling andSimulation Engineer).Based on NASAs Workforce Plan released in March 2004, out of 148critical competencies identified in the plan, 30 key competencies wereclassified as “critical needs” for NASA. Computer, electrical, mechanical,aerospace and general engineers are all occupations that representcompetencies in critical need.
Meeting NASA’s EducationPriorities

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