20 Apr At the Heart of Lumity: Creativity and Collaboration
“I think Lumity stands out among STEM programs I’ve seen in the way that we bring creative projects to students who normally don’t have access to this type of learning.”
– Simone Smith, Program Facilitator
We hear it again and again from our volunteers: “Lumity students are incredibly creative.” Our new staff member, Simone Smith, concurs, “The students are really creative in the way they analyze a community challenge and design solutions in our Real World Projects together with volunteers. I wouldn’t be able to think of half of the ideas they come up with.”
As a Lumity program facilitator, Simone herself deserves credit for fostering students’ creativity. Each week, Simone and the STEM Career Prep team work with more than 500 students across five high schools on various hands-on STEM projects. Most recently, she has been helping students prepare Lumity’s Annual STEM Fair, where they present their work to Chicagoland’s STEM leaders.
“I think Lumity stands out among STEM programs I’ve seen in the way that we bring creative projects to students who normally don’t have access to this type of learning,” explains Simone. “Students are coming up with solutions to littering, pollution, homelessness, financial literacy. One student group I’m working with is designing an incentive system and infrastructure for collecting litter; another is developing an app specifically for young adults to manage money. It’s amazing.”
Simone points to the program’s emphasis on collaboration as a catalyst for creativity—and something she and her colleagues model for the students. “I really liked how the STEM Career Prep staff members worked as a team. When I joined, I was able to jump right in with their support,” Simone says. “So much of what we do with students is to help them learn to collaborate and then experience how their collaborations lead to some incredible ideas and solutions.”