Customer Highlight: Boston Public Schools

Customer Highlight: Boston Public Schools

Joe Corsi is a first-year science and mathematics educator at East Boston High School. At the school, he works with STEAM Scholars, a group dedicated to preparing students for careers in STEM while providing opportunities to learn about different pathways within STEAM. The group also helps them with resume building and interview skills so they can apply for internships.

Corsi loves how STEAM can be used for change. As school districts around the country are looking for ways to engage their students, Corsi says, “What you’re learning in STEAM, it can be used for the impact of societal good. I think NeuroMaker is a good example of that, like promoting or producing prosthetics that can be made very affordable compared to some of the other types of prosthetics that are much more expensive….that’s one example of the many ways that STEM can help promote these really important causes and promote a lot of societal change for good.”

Implementing any new program requires a time commitment, but his students and staff are willing and dedicated to put in the effort. “There’s a really strong foundation for the program to take off. I think the biggest obstacle has been the time commitment. For our students, it’s definitely a big time commitment, but this is again a testament to how our students, they’re willing, they come every week ready to do some really great work, and learn, and grow. Sometimes, I see a lot of high schoolers saying, “I’m pretty tired, and I have to go to this after school for three hours this week.” It’s every week for three hours, and for our group, they’re very dedicated. So, I think it’s their dedication that has made our program get off to a very strong start.”

Corsi learned about NeuroMaker through a professional development session about the NeuroMaker biomedical curriculum. “You can learn about the engineering side of things, like, how do you engineer a prosthetic hand? How do you engineer a prosthetic hand that is efficient? Then, how do you engineer a prosthetic hand that’s efficient, and affordable, yeah, you just keep adding those layers. So, from an engineering standpoint, I was really interested in that side of things.”

The modules around coding and computer science were an added benefit of NeuroMaker. “You can put those two together to use the NeuroMaker hand for a lot of projects that, again, promote this social good. You can allow students to begin to interact with, and use their science knowledge to create a medical device that allows for accessibility or for really authentic usage purposes. NeuroMaker bridges engineering, computer science, and that social good. It brings all of that to the table at one time.”

As a first-year educator, the NeuroMaker website was very helpful to Corsi for implementing the program. “Having slides, and lessons was a really good starting point. If I see student interests go one way, I can go forward to lesson four, or I can just mix and match it, and see, make it meet the needs of my students or interests in my students.”

“I had students who were very interested in the coding and others more interested in the engineering side. So, it was very helpful to take some of that cognitive load and apply it towards what works for my students. The flexibility of the curriculum allowed for heavy engagement.

Another standout feature of NeuroMaker for Corsi was the creative capstone challenge which encouraged students to take a role in designing assistive technologies. “The capstone further proved that there were so many ideas, and they differed from many viewpoints…so, just a credit to the students, and how they’ve been able to take an idea, and just run with it in a hundred different directions.”

NeuroMaker’s commitment to the partnership with his district and school has been a big help in achieving the goals for his program. “NeuroMaker has truly committed to East Boston High School. It’s like, we’re in this together, and how can we work together to make this succeed? There’s a really strong commitment to make this work for everyone. NeuroMaker really wants our program to thrive.”