‘Learn by Doing’ within Learn Through Discovery

The Learn Through Discovery program, an initiative on campus that provides students a resource for hands-on learning in their fields, continues to provide applied learning opportunities despite the transition to virtual instruction and virtual events.

The First Year Experience Showcase planned for Dec. 2. will allow participants to present their signature polytechnic experience. Participants will also present their solutions based on the book, “Occasional Magic: True Stories About Defying The Impossible.”

The Learn Through Discovery initiative aims to give Cal Poly Pomona students a signature polytechnic experience also known as PolyX. By ensuring this unique experience, students will be given opportunities to numerous kinds of learning, as well as experimental teaching and collaboration.

Olukemi Sawyerr, the assistant vice president of academic innovation wants to guarantee the promise of “learn by doing” to every student. The Learn Through Discovery initiative was established in 2016 but did not arrive to Cal Poly Pomona until 2018. Sawyerr has been involved since the beginning and introduced the first-year courses to the curriculum.

“Part of what we have done in growing is when we want a student to have an experience, it needs to be in the curriculum and a course every student takes,” Sawyyer said. “We are making significant progress and hope by 2021 more first-year students will join in larger numbers.”

The initiative provides different programs but the most notable is The Hatchery. This program gives students opportunities of research, teamwork and engagement of their field.

The Hatchery Project is an initiative that allows students to further explore an idea they have and turn it in to a fully-fledged project. The project can help students build a team of likeminded students, seek guidance from advisor and even be funded up to $8,000. Any CPP student can submit their ideas through an application on their website.

Janam Dave, a graduate student in biological sciences, joined the program after one of his advisors recommended it, believing it would help Dave complete his thesis for the master’s program. Dave has been able to develop various skillsets since joining the initiative.

“I have become a better team leader, a better planner and learned how to communicate my ideas to all academic backgrounds,” Dave said.

Staff members are an essential part of that experience. Micayla Anderson, a communications specialist for the initiative, is passionate about seeing the growth and development for each student reaching their goals.

“We want them to have a meaningful experience and use that for career exploration or graduate school and articulate it,” Anderson said.

Other upcoming events include the yearly winter and summer initiatives. Their winter initiative planned for February 2021 will focus on first-year experience courses. Its summer initiative will focus on how staff and faculty members can incorporate the teaching and scholarship engagements into the individual program.

For more information on the Learn Through Discovery initiative, students can visit https://www.cpp.edu/learndiscovery/index.shtml

Disclaimer: Courses affiliated with the Poly Post are designated PolyX courses through the Learn through Discovery program

(Feature image courtesy by Logan Weaver) 

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