Since the very first semester (2018 Fall), I’ve been involved in Project Ignite, an educational outreach student organization that provide interdisciplinary project workshops to high school students in the greater Pittsburgh area.
My Project Ignite1 Stories
In my freshman year, I served as a project advisor, collaborated with a CS senior, and led a project of 5 high school students for 10 workshops, under the general topic of machine learning. We laid out workshop materials and guided students to brainstorm and work on a specific project of their choice: an image caption generator.
In my sophomore year, I became the VP of Communications and strived to increase the influence of Project Ignite both on and off the CMU campus, and especially for the underrepresented population. I increased the recruitment size for the 2019-2020 semester by 50%, and I expanded our collaboration with 5 more high schools, so in the 2020 Spring semester, we had 30 CMU students and 60 high school students working on 10 diverse projects.
|I also increased the number of female applicant by 5%, and the number of racial minority applicants by 10% than last year (2018-2019 semester).|
In my junior year, I’m serving as the President of Project Ignite. We moved all project workshops to remote format and innovated our recruitment procedure and operational mode during the pandemic. For example, we let advisors to come up with project teams themselves, split the high school application into 2 steps, and designed a mutual interview to create better project team groupings. We networked with Remake Learning, a local educational initiative, so we’ve got to present and advertise for Project Ignite in Allegheny’s district meeting with 30+ superintendents. We also collaborated with Slingshot to hold joint events and networked with some other student organizations on campus to expand our influence.
|Project Showcase @ Spring 2019|
Under all sorts of restrictions, we still managed to coordinate 7 project teams of 70 students and advisors in the Spring 2021 semester. To highlight some projects, the AI-m of the Game team implemented a checkers game one can play against the AI, and the Cookie Recipe Optimization team uses machine learning ideas to create this project ignite warranted recipe (feel free to try it on your own)!
In my senior year (2021-2022), I will continue to serve as the President, and we plan to have our workshops back in person.
Beside the club, I’m taking a graduate-level class called Educational Goals, Instruction, and Assessment (85-738 EGIA), in which I designed an App development workshop plan with theoretical foundations of learning sciences, and some of the designs like workshop exit surveys are actually implemented in 2021 Spring. For more details on the workshop design, please refer to my EGIA project.
The name “Project Ignite” came from Plutarch’s motto — “The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” ↩