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This book reports the results of a three-year research program funded by the National Science Foundation which targeted students and teachers from four Detroit high schools in order for them to learn, experience, and use IT within the context of STEM (IT/STEM), and explore 21st century career and educational pathways.
The book discusses the accomplishment of these goals through the creation of a Community of Designers-- an environment in which high school students and teachers, undergraduate/graduate student assistants, and STEM area faculty and industry experts worked together as a cohesive team. The project created four project-based design teams, one for each STEM area. Each team had access to two year-round IT/STEM enrichment experiences to create high-quality learning projects, strategies, and curriculum models. These strategies were applied in after school, weekend, and summer settings through hands-on, inquiry-based activities with a strong emphasis on non-traditional approaches to learning and understanding. The book represents the first comprehensive description and analysis of the research program and suggests a plan for future development and refinement.