“Genius lives in every zip code with access the only barrier,” says Ana Roca Castro, founder & CEO of Genius Plaza. As an engineer who has combined her passion for her field with education, she knows firsthand that for students to pursue STEAM careers, they need to see what opportunities exist, and by learning from the professionals that look like them.
Genius Plaza offers access to resources for career profiles from diverse professionals, including lesson plans, animations, video interviews, leveled eBooks in English and Spanish, vocabulary sets, assessment exercises, and a 360 degree virtual reality tour of the professional’s workspace.
Currently, there is a leaky school-to-STEAM career pipeline, especially within low-income households and communities of color. Technology allows the team at Genius Plaza and the schools with whom they work to connect students to worlds of possibility for themselves and their futures. Students can learn about career paths from a group of high-profile professionals. Some of these professionals include a groundbreaking woman engineer at NASA, and a Johnson & Johnson scientist working on cancer-fighting treatments, as well as doctors, software engineers, and venture capitalists. Students who can see themselves in these careers are more likely to major in a STEAM profession, and believe in their academic success.
The Genius Plaza model of searchable, multi-leveled eBooks in math and language arts has been applied to the STEAM career digital library. The latest technological advancements are combined with educator-made teaching materials, to teach students what being a STEAM professional looks like, and to learn how these individuals carved out their career. STEAM career Learning Champions™ take the time to share their professional stories and backgrounds with students. In turn, aspirations can turn into attainable realities, harnessing the power of technology as a bridge between classrooms and workplaces around the world.
Genius Plaza provides schools and teachers with STEAM resources that are leveled and primed for blended learning. The award-winning platform works on all internet-enabled devices. Educators can explore careers with personal insights and individual stories. These lessons include the unique experiences, professional achievements, and adversity each professional overcame while pursuing their career goals. Students will not only see the diversity in the STEAM field, but understand in learning about each professional that people of all backgrounds and experiences are thriving in in-demand career paths.
Awareness is the first step to break any barrier. Genius Plaza career portal allows students to explore a wide range of science, technology, engineering, arts, math, and other career fields. The ultimate goal is igniting the genius in all students.