Pathways: Apprenticeships in Sustainability Science and Engineering Design (ASCEND)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 to Wednesday, September 30, 2015
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Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Public Programs, Community Outreach Programs, Making and Tinkering Programs, Museum and Science Center Programs, Public Events and Festivals
Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Undergraduate/Graduate Students | Families | General Public | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Evaluators
Education and learning science | Engineering
Access and Inclusion: 
Low Socioeconomic Status
University of California, Santa Cruz

Our goal is to demonstrate an educational model fully commensurate with the demands of the 21st Century workforce, and more specifically, with the emerging “green-tech” economy. We recognize a pressing need creating more sustainable solutions for the (human) built-environment and of stabilizing economic patterns that uphold sustainable systems. to prepare citizens for the challenges of The ASCEND model is designed to encourage these societal shifts, but at the same time, it is an attempt to put theory into practice - activating educational practices aligned with research on human development and cognition. For some time now strong recommendations for apprenticeship learning have emphasized the function of legitimate peripheral participation – the possibility of which becomes more prevalent in robust communities of practice. As compared to top-down approaches (typical of formal education settings) these "learning communities" are seen as being more closely aligned with our natural propensities for learning and cognition. ASCEND represents a design-experiment -an attempt to learn how we can create and sustain opportunities for apprenticeship learning in an interdisciplinary arena at the leading edge of technical innovation. In addition, the ASCEND model introduces and examines the efficacy of “digital storytelling” as an alternative to more traditional forms of apprenticeship learning and as a means to engage and advance this and future generations in STEM. A further goal is to develop innovative measures of assessment commensurate with this new model of apprenticeship learning. Finally ASCEND explore how informal learning organizations (museums, libraries, preserves etc.) can use digital storytelling to develop community-driven programs inclusive of at-risk youth and other hard to reach audiences.

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Team Members

Michael IsaacsonMichael IsaacsonPrincipal Investigator
Doris AshCo-Principal Investigator
Jeffrey BuryJeffrey BuryCo-Principal Investigator
Irene LusztigIrene LusztigCo-Principal Investigator
Tamara BallProject Manager

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