Digital Explorations (DE) is a program sponsored by the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Each year DE sponsors a group of students who engage in a number of activities related to applied mathematics, engineering, science, technical communications, and digital media. The order of activities is along the following lines:
- Students choose a topic of interest to them in any area of science or engineering.
- They construct a game or application using Flash that in some way involves illustrating or working with the topic.
- They construct the project.
- They write a lab that shows others how the construct the project.
- They place their projects on a web site to allow others to access the projects.
- During the summer months, they work with the Digital Explorations summer program, which invites high school students to come to CU for two weeks to explore the campus and give consideration to what it is to pursue a college degree involving applied mathematics, science, or engineering.
DE participants also become involves in efforts that are important to them as individuals seeking to pursue careers in applied mathematics, engineering, or science. Among such activities are the following:
- Applying for grants from the National Science Foundation
- Preparing and presenting a presentation at a conference
- Working with other students to develop tools for learning and teaching using technology.
In its fourth year, DE has seen many of its participants go on to graduate studies or pursue promising careers in industry. Among its summer high school participants, it has seen several student apply to the University of Colorado, Boulder, and pursue degrees in engineering.
DE has also partnered with outreach programs, such as Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD). The BOLD Center is a program set up to help college students pursue engineering studies. It offers scholarship and other aids. The BOLD Center can be reached here.CU BOLD Center Website DE also works with is the Mentoring through Critical Transition Points (MCTP) program, through which it is able to sponsor the efforts of graduate and undergraduate students as they work with projects involving technology and learning.
Funding for Digital Explorations is provided by the Department of Applied Mathematics, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Arts and Sciences Support of Education Through Technology (ASSETT).
High School Summer Program
Digital Explorations 2012 Summer Sessions
Digital Explorations is a program that combines developing applications and games using Flash with learning mathematics and exploring topics typical of first-year courses in the College of Engineering and Applied Technology at the University of Colorado.
The Digital Explorations summer program is designed to provide a comfortable, relaxed, and well supported setting in which middle and high school students can work with students from the College of Engineering and Applied Technology to develop Flash applications and games. The summer sessions last 10 days and meet for four hours each day. During these sessions, students explore art, writing, programming, science, technology, and mathematics (STEM). While mathematics is an important theme of the sessions, it is by no means the only focus, and students are not expected to have a primary interest in mathematics. Instead, the goal is to provide students with a comfort zone in which they can gain some exposure to what it is like to be a science, technology, engineering, or applied mathematics student – the type of student who is enrolled in the College of Engineering and Applied Technology. No assumptions are made about background or preparation. All students are welcomed.
The summer sessions for 2012 are scheduled as follows:
June 4 through 15, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon daily (Monday - Friday).
2012 Summer Session is Full!
The sessions will be offered on the CU campus, in Room ECCR 143 of the Engineering Building, where students will be able to work with computers and use the Adobe CS5 Suite of development tools to create their productions. Four TAs will work in each of the sessions. At liberty to talk with participants, the TAs can relate their own experiences as STEM students. It is hoped that their examples and guidance can help participants to think directly and constructively about their college careers.
Digital Explorations will offer 8 construction projects this year. Each of the projects will focus on a different theme, and the themes will range from global warming, to the nervous system, to business and finance, to astronomy. After constructing the games or applications, participants will then be able to morph them to reflect their own preferences.
Applications for the 2012 Summer Session are now closed!