Elijah E. Cummings Innovation Center
The Elijah E. Cummings Innovation Center Innovation Center will accelerate GSA’s vision by opening doors of opportunity for students to pursue rigorous college and careers in the fields of Construction Design and Management (CDM) and Engineering that leverage students’ strengths and talents and link them to economic prosperity and professional growth.
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- Host a continuum of programming that inspires students to apply strengths, explore new opportunities, collaborate in teams, and set career goals.
- Provide early exposure opportunities for students that can be linked to future sustained pathways.
- Expand the CDM pathway and create a Pre-Engineering program leading to a dynamic continuum of prospective outcomes for in high-demand careers, including apprenticeships, dual-enrollment programs, and rigorous STEM college preparation programs.
Through investment in a state-of-the-art applied learning space, linked academic programming will support the following outcomes by 2022:
- Double the number of students enrolled in the CDM pathway, raising total enrollment from 60 to 130 students and increasing the annual rate of program completion from 15 to 40.
- Cultivate a cohort of students prepared to matriculate into a Pre-Engineering college pathway.
- Develop and sustain extended learning experiences for students and families in the Innovation Center.
Innovation Center Components
The Innovation Center will include these five distinct areas which will offer scholars the ability to create, collaborate, research, iterate, and plan their futures in a seamless and on-going process:
- Collaboration Commons will allow space for large group discussion, small group interaction, and access to industry software (Fusion, AutoCAD, Revit, etc.).
- Iteration & Research Center will provide a connected space for iteration (idea creation/synthesis/refinement), trade skills development (plumbing, electricity, carpentry, etc.), and group research for students in all career pathways.
- Creation Lab will house state-of-the-art-fabrication lab equipment (including laser cutters, 3D printers, manufacturing, robotics, drone creation, and an embroidery machine).
- Entrepreneurship Center will serve as the catalyst for student ventures developed in the Creation Lab or through our upcoming 4,000SF controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility.
- College Counseling and Internship/Career Engagement services will continue to seek academic and skill-based learning opportunities for graduates who committed to GSA’s innovation vision.
Construction Design and Management (CDM) Pathway Enhancement
Enhancing the CDM pathway will double the number of students enrolled in the program. Tiered pathways will also provide opportunities for success for a diverse group of students with varying interests, strengths, and goals. After taking the introductory CDM course in the sophomore year, students will select a pathway that best fits their long-term goals, including:
- Link to Workforce – Students will have the opportunity to pursue an apprenticeship with companies and local trade unions and take industry-related courses in the Innovation Center. Students will be supported with internships designed to link students to well-paying careers while in their final years at GSA and upon graduation. Students not originally in the CDM pathway may be considered for participation in this pathway.
- Dual Enrollment – Scholars will take college-level coursework in CDM after successful completion of the introductory CDM course through dual enrollment at CCBC. This coursework will lead to an industry recognized certification and opportunities for employment upon graduation.
- Pre-Engineering – This pathway will be built out as cohorts matriculate to high school with college-ready mathematics skills and overall academic achievement.
- After-School and Summer Opportunities – The Creation Lab will house “Creation Station,” a workspace for prototype development, leading to “Invention Convention,” a workspace for pre-fabrication and manufacturing, student collaboration, development of robotics programming, and after-school clubs, like “Destination Imagination” and “Science Oympiad” to engage in construction and problem-solving.
- Pre-Engineering Pipeline – By 2022, GSA will have cultivated a cohort of Pre-Engineering students matriculating into high school after prior enrichment middle school participation in Innovation Center activities and demonstration of high academic achievement in math. These students will participate in applied mathematics enrichment classes twice a week during school, robotics instruction twice a week after school, and higher level mathematics classes over the summer. By the end of grade 12, these identified students will transition to 2 or 4 year colleges or universities to pursue a career in engineering.
- Applied Science Experiences – Middle school students receiving special education services and otherwise identified who might benefit from hands-on experiences will have the opportunity to engage in applied science experiences in middle school. These enrichment experiences will be designed to increase engagement in school and to identify strengths and potential for future college and career interests and pathways.