Student Innovation Fellow brings STEAM education to children


Christian Ammerman, Secondary English Education and English Literature Arts major, was recently recognized as a University Innovation Fellow.

Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design recognizes students from across the country every year to be a part of this prestigious national program, and this year there are six from WSU. The program seeks to empower these students to be leaders and increase campus engagement, entrepreneurship and innovation.

"University Innovation Fellows challenges the very notion of who I am, and what I want to become," Christian says. "UIF pushes you to be better, think more creatively, work more collaboratively and to embrace change, all of which I struggle with at times. By being a part of UIF, I have joined a vast community of people who not only want to support me but also want to encourage and inspire me as well."

The Innovation Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain knowledge, skills and attitudes to make a positive impact on others through personal projects.

Christian is working on a project called Innovation Station, a traveling design thinking workshop series that visits local Kansas schools with limited funding for STEAM education.

"I would like to inspire the next generation of students to become the best innovators, the best thinkers, and the best people they can possibly be," he says.

This program takes what Innovation Fellows do at the collegiate level and breaks it down to fit within a class period or afterschool program. So far, the group has run three workshops at St. Anne’s Catholic School and Valley Center High School.

The students and staff who have participated in the program have loved this, and they’ve seen interesting prototypes and ideas stem from these opportunities.

"Innovation Station not only challenges me personally, whether it be through leadership, organization and public speaking, but also definitely with adaptability," he says.

Christian sees this not only as an opportunity for networking and professional growth but also to become more well-rounded and push himself to learn and do more.

"Take risks, apply for things you may not have any experience with, challenge yourself," he says.