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Michigan Engaging Community through the Classroom (MECC)

Michigan Engaging Community through the Classroom (MECC) is an initiative exploring the benefits of multi-disciplinary teams at UM working on stakeholder-based community engagement efforts. During the semester-long process, students from different disciplines learn from each other as they collaborate on complex projects.

Winter 2022 Student Opportunity: Design Summit 4

The MECC Initiative, along with Midtown Detroit, Wayne State University, and the College for Creative Studies (CCS) works together with the The Cultural Center Planning Initiative (CCPI) to host annual student design competitions which provide unique opportunities for students to engage in contemporary design practices through community involvement. The 4th Student Design Summit will be a two-day Design Jam with a virtual introduction on Friday, February 4 and an in-person workshop on Saturday, February 5. Open to high school and university students in the State of Michigan, the Design Summit will provide an opportunity for students to work in teams to explore the concept of what it means for a place to be welcoming and inclusive, while conceptualizing a future welcome center for Detroit’s Cultural Center. Interested U-M students can send their questions to paulfont@umich.edu or mverhage@umich.edu for more information and any needed logistical support, such as securing transportation to and from the in-person workshop.

Fall 2021 Semester Highlights

Detroit River Story Lab

MECC is a proud partner and supporter of the Detroit River Story Lab, founded in Fall 2020 by U-M English and comparative literature professor, David Porter. A part of U-M’s Poverty Solutions, the Story Lab is dedicated to working with local organizations and courses on campus to tell the nuanced and rich stories of this international waterway to audiences on both sides of the river. Check out the video below and read more about the work they have done this year at https://news.umich.edu/what-lies-beneath-detroit-river-narratives-emerge-through-schooner-trips-boat-building/

STEAM in a Box

Partnering with the Michigan Science Center located in Downtown Detroit, students enrolled in Nick Tobier’s ARTDES 314 “Change by Design” course created the first prototypes for “Discovery Boxes” that will be used by the museum as an innovative and adaptive tool to connect underserved audiences with affordable STEAM learning resources and experiences, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has limited hands-on learning opportunities.

Tobier class portrait

Professor Nick Tobier and his ARTDES 314 students with some of their “boxes” including a wearable vest that teaches students about electrical wire circuitry as well as sewing skills.

MECC Contacts

Paul Fontaine, Program Manager/Lecturer
(248) 571-1926

Melinda Verhage, Project Manager
(858) 735-3158

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