You’ll hear the hub-bub first. It’s a rumble of murmuring that sounds a lot like learning. Atop the rumble are moments of laughter punctuated by boisterous and warm greetings. You’re lucky if you can find a seat. It’s a place where friends study together, clubs meet and projects are in progress including the use of the fabulous 3D printers.
There’s math behind the science of learning. Often the variable between novice to mastery is time devoted to practice. Remember the 10,000 hour rule? Natural ability requires a huge investment of time to be made manifest. Macklemore wrote a hit song about it, rapping that “the greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint, the greats were great because they paint a lot.”
Here’s some math associated with the FYE/STEM Center. Since 2016 the number of students using the FYE/STEM Center for the month of September increased by 604%. The total time clocked increased by 827%. It isn’t a wonder that on average the GPA of students who visit the FYE/STEM Center is .65 greater than the campus average.
Here’s why. We all want to be in a place where everybody know your name. We want to belong. The FYE mentors and STEM Illumineers, OC student workers, make sure that happens. Tomás Martinez is a familiar face. He says, “I come because there are lots of people here and now I have friends to study with. When you commit to meeting up to study…well it’s different then doing it on your own… you have to show up. There are tutors to help but when it’s a group of us–normally one of us can help and we are able to figure it out together.”
The student workers are trained in cascading mentoring. Everyone lends a hand because somewhere in that cascade as soon as you know something you are responsible for teaching somebody else. Tomás offered, “You know, sometimes I just like to listen to everyone around me. When I can, I go over and help. It’s nice to be in this together.”
Why does this matter? For thousands of years, people have known that the best way to understand a concept is to explain it to someone else. “While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca.
Come join us. We can’t always offer you a seat. But we will always gladly find you a place to belong at the FYE/STEM Center.