About Our Project
What is Through My Window?
Through My Window is a multimedia engineering education website that engages children and young teens in engineering through the use of narrative in their native digital environment. Developed by faculty at Smith College and Springfield Technical Community College and funded by the National Science Foundation, Through My Window targets traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering—especially girls—and provides academic enrichment in engineering, technology, and literacy.
In contrast to traditional engineering education, Through My Window applies innovative approaches to learning that engage children and young teens and support deep learning. Story is critical to the project design! Learners are immersed in story featuring relevant, diverse characters with whom they interact in novels, graphic novels, and online learning journeys. Engineering becomes idea-centered—all voices are heard, and all ideas are valued. Solutions to complex, real-world engineering problems are modeled as knowledge solutions requiring diversity of thought and learners advance their knowledge by sharing and improving their ideas with each other. Perceptions about engineering are broadened as learners see modern, relevant applications of engineering—not typical “man in hard hat” scenarios or "pink princess" portrayals of engineering and female engineers—and develop their unique STEM voices and identities.
What can children and young teens do on throughmywindow.org?
- read Talk to Me, a young adult mystery novel
- follow the adventures of the Talk to Me characters in a graphic novel
- explore engineering concepts such as artificial intelligence, engineering design, and engineering ethics in imaginative learning adventures
- share and imporve ideas about engineering in interactive forums
- listen to the audiobook
How will Through My Window help your students and your program?
Through My Window conforms to best practices in program curriculum as well as national standards and curriculum frameworks in STEM and literacy. The Connecticut After School Network is a core partner on the project and supports the implementation of the project in afterschool programs. Through My Window can be used as stand-alone curriculum or in conjunction with existing STEM curriculum, and provides
- standards-aligned academic enrichment in engineering, technology, and literacy
- innovative educational theory targeting traditionally underrepresented groups in engineering—especially girls!
- meaningful engagement in engineering concepts for ALL students
- development of STEM identity and broadened perspectives about engineering
- educator support thru PD, teachers’ curriculum guide, and video tutorials
- free, adaptable, accessible, easy-to-teach curriculum!