The 2018 Advanced Summer Workshop was made up of two components: A faculty training workshop and an autisMakes Workshop.
Spectrum Innovates (formerly nfp Nexus) provided an intensive two-day workshop for NYIT’s VIP faculty. The training designed and led by expert facilitators, immersed educators and service providers in the same environment in which students work. Trainees learned how to facilitate the process of innovation as they themselves came together to brainstorm, problem-solve, collaborate and create Maker projects while using microcontrollers, sensor boards and coding. They had the same opportunity as their students to invent, design, build and program devices such as game controllers, instruments and wearables.
Trainees learned about the role of passion and affinity in relation to the ability of autistic youth to interact and function productively in the world. This training highlighted the ability of all individuals to demonstrate their ingenuity and capabilities in a constructionist environment.
Spectrum Innovates led an in-depth forty-hour innovation workshop for 18 students using a wide range of technological tools, including microcontrollers, programming languages, 3D printers, servos, sensor boards and various Maker materials accompanied by instruction in specialized tools as needed. Projects included model rocketry, air cars, game design and interactive technologies / robotics.
This workshop included 18 participants divided into three groups. Each group was led by our expert facilitators who participated in the immersion training. Peer mentors–individuals who have been either participants or mentors at previous test concept workshops–acted as role models for participants and engendered a safe and friendly atmosphere. Their presence encouraged participants to reach beyond constraints of past experience. Spectrum Innovates' Director of Programs and staff participated in the activities and provided onsite oversite.