To address learning losses caused by the pandemic, Cruces Creatives will scale up two existing, evidence-based educational programs for K-12 students in Las Cruces, each of which focuses on project-based learning to improve academic, life, and well-being outcomes. CommunityShare Las Cruces, which connects teachers and students with subject matter experts from the community, makerspace tools, and mini-grant funding, enhancing education through project-based learning, specialized knowledge provided by community members, and mentorship. The STEAMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts ,Mathematics, and Making) Team offers project-based educational programming in weekday, weekend, after-school, and summer camp formats, focusing on creative, hands-on projects that integrate STEM skills, art, and making. Through CommunityShare Las Cruces and the STEAMM Team, Cruces Creatives will serve at least 15,000 students and document the educational benefits that students gain.
Make up for learning losses suffered during the pandemic.
By the end of the period of performance, Cruces Creatives will:
- Engage Las Cruces K-12 students (approximately 15,000 student interactions total) in at least one meaningful project with the support of a community partner in CommunityShare or through a STEAMM Team program by the end of the period of performance.
- Increase student engagement.
- Increase student understanding of course material.
- Increase student understanding of the real-world uses of course material.
- Increase educator job satisfaction.
- Increase educator perceptions of community support.
- Demonstrate student mastery of the Common Core standards embedded in STEAMM Program projects.
- Completed classroom projects
- Expanded tool access and usage for Las Cruces Public Schools through additional resources available at Cruces Creatives maker space
Rationale for the Project
All Las Cruces Public Schools are Title I schools that the Final Rule recognizes as being disproportionately impacted communities, whose students experienced academic setbacks and developmental delays due to the extreme disruptions caused by Covid-19. To help redress these adverse educational impacts, Cruces Creatives, whose existing educational programs specialize in community-engaged, project-based learning, will provide evidence-based educational services to address the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of Las Cruces's K-12 students. The central evidence-based mechanism that Cruces Creatives will employ in this work is project-based learning, which engages students through meaningful work, cultivates deep and transferrable content mastery, and gives students practice working with each other, teachers, and community members; cumulatively, research demonstrates that project-based learning is high effective approach for helping students develop academic skills, life skills, and well-being (Ames, 1992 Krajcik & Blumenfeld, 2006; Rajaratnam & Campbell, 2013).