New STEM training program creates maker space for students and faculty
- Virginia Tech has launched a new hybrid Thinkabit lab for students and faculty members to explore innovation and creation in the sciences and technology in collaboration with liberal arts partners.
- The center, a satellite facility which will also conduct outreach to underserved youth in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, will also work to encourage STEM participation among underrepresented groups.
- The innovation center is funded, in part, by Qualcomm, and will create opportunities for lab participants to expand community development initiatives through STEM education.
This is one of the first initiatives where faculty innovation is a prominent element of a collegiate start-up effort. Typically, faculty are involved as reviewers or managers of innovation space, but rarely as participants. It is a strong effort to ensure that faculty members are exposed to new developments within industry and associated technology.
Some studies suggest a lack of industrial exposure can dull the skills of practitioners who also teach, and in the effort to build credentialing options within degree programs, professors who are active as researchers and in publishing have more to offer students beyond theoretical knowledge and preparation.
- Campus Technology New Virginia Tech facility offers STEM training for teachers, students