August 29, 2014
RAMP Students Present their Final Projects
As summer draws to a close, most incoming first-year students enjoy their last days of free time and gear up to begin their first year of college. However, Wentworth RAMP students will enter the school year having already completed six weeks of project-based learning.
RAMP, created and run by the Center for Community and Learning Partnerships (CLP), is geared specifically to inner-city Boston residents and allows a group of incoming first-year students to engage in summer education programs before entering Wentworth as full-time undergraduates. The program strives to support the transition from high school to college by connecting students with peers and faculty, giving them a taste of the work they will do at Wentworth, and providing them with learning opportunities that they might not have had at their high school.
This summer, the group of 21 students were put into groups and tasked to deal with specific problems in the Boston area. Students examined issues regarding mechanisms for animal enrichment at Zoo New England, as well as navigation for those with disabilities through the Travis Roy Foundation.
The students presented on August 14 to a group of panelists, including Adam Greenbaum, a space systems engineer at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, John Linehan, the president and CEO of Zoo New England, and Julia di Bonaventura, the STEM coordinator at the Boston Private Industry Council. President Zorica Pantić also sat on the panel, while faculty members and peers were in the audience at the Center for Community and Learning Partnerships.
Three of the groups were tasked to enrich gorillas mentally and physically, as well as to improve visitor understanding of the animals. Groups constructed a tumble drum, a pulley system, and steel blocks after working on a series of prototypes and trial and error. The remaining groups worked on projects that would help those with disabilities, with group four working on a wheelchair storage device and group five working on indoor navigation for the blind.
Each group discussed skills that they adopted during their time in the program. They spoke about the need for patience and the ability to learn from their mistakes, the importance of compromise, and the need to seek advice and opinions from others in order to improve their products.
Students also expressed their gratitude for the opportunity, the learning experience, and the sense of preparation and ease that the program gave them going into their freshman year.
“To be honest with you, I probably would have been lost,” said Bryan Brito, who worked in the wheelchair storage group, when asked how he would feel going into college without RAMP. “We are going to do a lot of projects. Being able to understand that there are different ideas and different opinions, is definitely a good thing to know going into college,” he said.
“My biggest takeaway would be the head start that I’m getting,” said Stanford White, who also worked in the wheelchair storage group. “I’m basically in the mindset of what it takes to be in Wentworth, which a lot of freshmen coming in this fall won’t be in.”
They were also grateful for the experiences and the friendships they built before school even started.
“I had a lot of fun from the program,” said Meaghan Mulvey, who worked on navigation for the blind. “I think the most rewarding thing would be the relationships; I’ve become great friends with these 20 people so I feel a lot better going into it,” she said.
Franklin Park Zoo Groups:
Group One, Tumble Drum: Giuseppe Barletta, Jeffrey Huey, Patrick Stepnowski
Group Two, Pulley System: Ricardo Diaz, Marcus Fergus, Ziqi Mai
Group Three, Blocks: Jessica Fernandez-Pina, Olakule Lawal, William Ma
Travis Roy Foundation Groups:
Group Four, Wheelchair Storage: Bryan Brito, Stanford White, Randolph Alvarez, Terrance Curley, Oloruntobi Fashemi, Xavier Fermin
Group Five, Navigation for the blind: Arturo De La Cruz, Alieus Wilson, Michael Carmona, Calfred Malcom, Meaghan Mulvey, Andy Paul