FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is attending the conference?
We are bringing thought leaders in education to each conference. These will primarily be principals and administrators in K-12 education, from a national and international scope. We are also targeting university administrators who have not yet been to a hackathon or whose school does not currently have a hackathon. Non profits like Boys & Girls Club of America who interact with high school communities and would to teach them about these great hands on learning events are also welcome.
What is a hackathon?
Hackathons are innovation marathons. Students of all varieties come together to learn, build and share their creations. But there is a catch – hackathons provide a limited amount of time. The point is to solve a problem in a short amount of time by working with others. They are a vehicle for creativity and ingenuity. Hackathons are not just limited to students who can code. They are much broader in practice. They can be integrated into any curriculum or can be done in little chunks over a few months culminating in a hackathon event.
Hackathons teach you to build, design, pitch, create and innovate. To work well under deadlines and to give it your best shot. By giving students an opportunity to individually build a project from start to finish, students develop increased critical thinking skills and have a chance to become better prepared to enter the workforce. This in turn improves the education of the student themselves and helps drive better education in the future. Learn more in the hackathon section here.
How did you come up with the idea and who is involved?
Always interested in promoting better education, Princeton E-club is excited to put on this student run education movement. Dismayed that we were not taught more hands on learning we wanted to create opportunities for other students to experience them too - and the best way to start is from the top-down with educators.
We're so excited because by focusing on “doing rather than saying” we're actually providing real tangible impact to our attendees and helping students augment their education across the country. We hope our efforts will impact thousands of future engineering students that will come and enjoy Princeton - especially as our initial research shows that hands on learning early on leads to more women and minorities being involved in STEM. Our E-club has 150 members – coders, designers, engineers and dreamers - but 20 have gathered together to work on IgniteSTEM.
We also have significant involvement from Princeton University (particularly the Keller Center and Council for Science and Technology).
Why is it called IgniteSTEM?
We want to level the playing field for all students regardless of their background. We’re igniting students to learn skills in STEM fields whether they are a beginner or an expert in a given skill. These processes build teamwork, innovation thought process and time management skills. IgniteSTEM aims to bring hands on approaches for students to learn by doing rather than saying. These hands on approaches are traditionally done in STEM fields but can also apply to English or History classes
I want to get more involved!
2. Join our mailing list to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to engage with other educators online and gain access to our conference archive resources and free lesson plans, as well as learn about different EdTech and Design Thinking opportunities around your area!