America Reads Design Scholars Program
America Reads Design Scholars Program is a 16-week after school program that teaches design thinking and three-dimensional (3D) printing skills to promote reading, math, and science literacies. The SIU federal work study students serve as tutors at local schools and facilitate various design challenges using Tinkercad, an online 3D modeling web program. This is an extension of the makerspace concept where students are encouraged to imagine, create, test, re-design and learn from failures that are part of the 21st century competencies.
Our curriculum embraces Universal Design for Learning framework. It allows multiple entry points for a learner by providing diverse opportunities for transdisciplinary STEAM learning connecting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with Arts. We encourage our students to incorporate design thinking using digital tools, paper art works like origami, cardboard, and other recycled materials to express their creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.