Engineering education can help youth become powerful thinkers who recognize themselves as innovative problem solvers who can change the world. We believe that children are better off when they can see themselves and others can see them as capable people, innovative thinkers, and active change agents.
Tufts STOMP (Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program) partners undergraduate engineering students with K-12 teachers to exchange expertise and provide K-12 students with brain-building engineering activities. Our open-ended, experiential engineering design activities give K-12 students a chance to do the “messy” problem solving that is not typically found in schools but that is critical for getting students interested in engineering and for developing the next generation of innovators.
STOMP serves a three-part audience: K-12 students in the greater Boston area (in Massachusetts), K-12 teachers in the Boston area, and Tufts University engineering students. We focus our outreach in schools in which 62% of students are people of color, 25% of students are English Language Learners, and 39% of students are economically disadvantaged.
We reach these youth at a critical developmental period, when they are forming their identities as learners, as potential engineers, and as innovators who make a difference in the world. Early engineering experiences widen children’s worldview of who can be an engineer and who can engineer change. STOMP supports children’s innate curiosity and creativity and helps them see themselves as resourceful, innovative problem solvers and changemakers.