Building Deep University-City Collaboration: Wayne State’s Warrior STEAM Saturdays

At the USU Summer meeting at Cleveland State University, our theme was deep collaboration between campus and community. As part of the event, we had a for-fun pitch session whereby three university representatives had five minutes to pitch to a panel of community judges. The winning collaborative was Wayne State University’s College of Engineering Warrior STEAM Saturdays.

Pitched by Jasmine Roberson, Director, Community Engagement, College of Engineering, Wayne State University, the project offers hands on science technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities on six Saturdays throughout the year to Detroit K-12 students. The purpose is to motivate students to consider engineering as a career.

Students and their families will head to Wayne State campus to engage in themed challenge, all designed to positively impact the city of Detroit. They don’t just learn about engineering skills and career opportunities, but how to build a better world—starting in their own backyard. From hackathons to sustainable design to a business plan for a tech start-up to a maker faire to showcase the products they created through the program, Detroit school kids will engage and interact with engineering, industry partners and community leaders as they build skills, get inspired and learn that they have the ability to make the world a better place.

Key project partners include Detroit K-12 system, pre-college engineering program, downtown boxing gym and go-Girls as well as faculty, students and staff of the College of Engineering and Engineering student leadership.

Congratulations to Jasmine on a job well done and a program built with the community in mind.


And thanks to our Cleveland community judges for giving of their time to participate in the pitch.

  1. Tim Tramble, Executive Director, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.

  2. Tom O’Brien, Program Director, Neighborhood Connections

  3. Evelyn Burnett, Vice President of Economic Opportunity Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

  4. Julie Beers, Principal, Campus International School

We’ll be highlighting the other collaborative programs in the coming weeks. In the meantime, share your story. How does your institution engage deeply in the community?

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