Oracle Education Foundation + Design Tech High: Better Living Through Wearable Tech

How philanthropy and public school can work together to create #MindBlowingSTEM education

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Design Tech High partnered with Oracle Education Foundation to create a 2 week class where students get to solve everyday challenges with wearable technology. Students design portable, surprising, and fun solutions with Flora microcontrollers, batteries, conductive materials, sensors, actuators, and the support of Oracle coaches.

How Schools Could Partner With Philanthropic Foundations and Corporate Social Responsibility for STEM PBL

Oracle wanted to better engage their employees in relevant volunteering projects. Initially Oracle employees would volunteer at fragmented organizations with large variances in engagement. That's when Oracle Education Foundation decided to hire instructors who would use Design Thinking as an iterative & creative problem solving process to introduce STEM to students. OEF recruited several staff volunteers with experience in software and mechanical engineering to support the instructors in the two week classes. The volunteers report very high relevance and engagement in their volunteer work, and the Design Tech High students loved the class because they had the resources (i.e. hardware) to actually build their projects, and get real time feedback from experienced employees.

Link to Project Video

Images

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Students use breadboards and circuits to build their wearable prototypes.

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d.tech students review the code behind their prototype.

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A d.tech student collaborates with an Oracle Volunteer coach on building her wearable prototype.

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Students showcase their wearable technologies to parents and visitors at d.tech.

Oracle Volunteer Testimonial

A Role Model for Girls in Steam

“The collaboration between d.tech students and Oracle Volunteers was fun and rewarding. Thank you, Oracle Education Foundation, for providing me with the opportunity to serve as a role model for the students, and encourage them to explore careers in STEAM.” — Indira Vidyaprakash, Oracle Senior Principal Product Manager

An Unforgettable Experience

“Volunteering for the Oracle Education Foundation was a truly unforgettable experience. Although my knowledge of Java was limited, I learned along with the kids and was able to contribute my skills in electronics. The most rewarding aspect was witnessing the students’ excitement at the final showcase, and knowing that, thanks to OEF and Oracle, I had a part to play.” — Mike Lance, Oracle Senior Sales Consultant

Working with Creative and Energetic Students

“I’ve had a great experience volunteering for the Oracle Education Foundation. The energy and creativity the students brought to our workshop was very inspiring, and I feel fortunate to be part of the program.” —Jeff Salleh, Oracle Senior Software Development Manager

Students, Volunteers, Educators Are All Winners

“My key takeaway from this experience is that the volunteers, educators, and students are all winners. The students develop valuable insights and apply critical thinking and collaboration to solve real-world problems. The volunteers and educators love the students’ “Ah-ha!” moments, when the concepts we cover throughout the course suddenly make sense.” —Margaret Errington, Oracle Linux and VM Principal Alliance Manager

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Photo of Erin Quinn

This sounds like a wonderful experience for your students. We had some of our students involved in MakeFashion, a cutting edge fashion technology fashion show here in Calgary, and the real-world audience was so motivating for our students. I'm curious if you noticed anything similar about the engagement and achievement of your students in this task with a real life application and audience?