NC State College of Management Professor Fay Payton is working with Marian Fragola, Director of Outreach of the NC State Libraries and Arts NC State to develop a pilot program series of workshops during Fall 2017 that parents would attend with their children in order to engage them in both STEM activities as well as activities that highlight the arts.
The target age population is middle school students with ages ranging from 1 1 to 14 and the program would target approximately 20-25 students and their parents. The goal of this program is to provide experiential learning for parents that help demonstrate the benefits of combining traditional STEM with arts topics in trans-disciplinary spaces that offer the ability to foster creativity while engaging the public. The NC State Alumni Association has expressed an interest in providing more opportunities for NC State alumni parents to interact with their children on campus. Alumni parents have requested this as well in post-program evaluations from a recent puppet making workshop for parents and their children at the NCSU Libraries.
Sample activities of this project might include Coding with Sphero, the programmable robot (in conjunction with The William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation) or 3D printing project and laser cutting in the D. H. Hill Library Makerspace. Desired project outcomes include: 1) increased engagement of NC State alumni in campus programming with their children; 2) additional partnerships with the local WCPSS and STEAM content providers; and 3) increased understanding of parental involvement and their aspirations for students’ college education. Dr. Payton intends to use this pilot project to further her research interests regarding parental involvement on achievement motivation with potential grant applications to The Mellon Foundation, National Endowment of the Arts, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and National Science Foundation.