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Happy American Education Week!

With the wealth of opportunities available to the youth, the options are endless, but not always accessible. Lockdown restrictions further exacerbates unique academic needs that stem from social isolation. At CommUniverCity, we take every chance we get to open the doors of higher education. 

In celebration of American Education Week, we want to highlight the workshops we prepared for higher education enrichment in the past month for College Day that took place from October 19th to 23rd

Our work first started with drafting ideas for promotional videos that would fit this year’s theme ‘Superheroes Fight for Education!’ SJSU student interns shared their college journeys and the superheroes that motivated them along the way. 

Despite the booming technological industry in Silicon Valley, just a mere 4.7% of tech professionals are Latino. With over 85% of children in CommUniverCity’s service area being Latino, our workshops honed in on STEM topics. 

The first workshop “Young Entrepreneurs Academy” premiered on Tuesday 10/20 with a live audience of 169. We had the pleasure of being joined by students from Carolyn Clark Elementary School, Gunderson High School, Wilcox High School, and various others in and near the San Jose area. Part of the workshop led by SJSU business students asked the audience for business ideas. The children were so creative with the business ideas they generated!

“I said a business that collects your compost and does the work for you, then brings you back the finished product.” – Wilcox High School student

“I want to create a business that helps people with dietary needs have desserts. A lot of people can’t have the same food as a person without dietary restrictions, might be missing out on some deserts they really like. It would have basic but eye-catching packaging and I would give some profits to anti-hunger foundations.” – Carolyn Clark Elementary School 6th grade student

The second workshop “Cybersecurity, Hacking, and Automation” premiered on Wednesday 10/21, and was hosted by Alan Wong, Director of Silicon Valley Center for Global Studies. This session was geared towards high school students, but with a section including Minecraft, students of all ages can be inspired by the multidisciplinary subject! Hostile characters like creepers and zombies emulate the Internet and its dangers. Various industry experts were also invited to break down cybersecurity concepts and how to apply them to be effective cyber defenders. 

Jennifer Rodriguez, a Project Coordinator at CommUniverCity and aspiring teacher, hosted the final workshop “Engineering in Action” on Thursday 10/22. Engineering students at SJSU shared the role models that inspired them to pursue their dreams.

“My superpower after college is just going to be like Dr. Caitlin Snow [from the Flash, CW]! I’m planning to specialize in biomechanical engineering, which is a discipline that deals with biomedical devices, prosthetics, bionic arms, and so many more devices that helps people with disabilities” – Engyin Aung, SJSU Engineering student

Other SJSU students demonstrated how to create a magnet, the process of 3D printing, and took a tour of the Spartan Racing Engineering Club. 

Remote teaching and learning taught us how to be adaptable and creative with our lessons. Actually, in many ways, we were able to reach more people than we would have in our regular face-to-face workshops. As American Education Week and Global Entrepreneurship Week take place on November 16-20, we hope to give more students the opportunity to fight for higher education by sharing the recorded workshops, which can be found here. Please don’t hesitate to share with anyone you’d like, we’d love to hear your feedback!

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