J.K. Hileman Elementary School in Queen City, TX recently purchased Robo E3 3D printers and MyStemKits standards-driven STEM curriculum. After a half-day training in October, one teacher quickly jumped in to use this award-winning STEM solution. Let us introduce you to Haley Williams.
We are in the middle of National Friends of Libraries Week, and at the start of National Book Month, National Reading Group Month, and International School Library Month! This is definitely a time to enjoy reading amazing stories and books that introduce us to new experiences and ideas. It’s also a reminder that we can find these amazing stories with STEAM concepts. Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics should take up more than a couple of baskets or shelves in our classroom library – they should be regular parts of our daily teaching and learning lives. STEAM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and empowers the next generation of innovators. STEAM affects every area of our lives and it's important for our youth to see and understand how they can create a positive impact on how our world operates. By integrating reading and literacy with STEAM, not only do our youth develop as stronger readers, their interests in STEAM education and careers are piqued.
Since the shift to remote learning due to pandemic-related school closures, the focus on science has suffered in comparison to the focus on core subjects such as math and language arts. While some students benefited from the increased flexibility of remote learning, others needed more hands-on investigations. As more schools are opening to in-person learning, the need to incorporate STEM is essential. Why? Research has shown that the call for STEM-related jobs has grown much faster, as much as three times more, than the call for other jobs. The investment of time and resources in STEM instruction now is an investment in the STEM workforce.
Growing up, my dad spent lots of time in the garage working on things — his 1972 Ford Pinto (understandably), my brother’s bikes, and making small items for our home. The garage was his makerspace and he used it to design, plan, and follow through on his creative ideas. Later, my brother used the garage as his makerspace. These days makerspaces are moving out of the garages of hobbyists to classrooms and schools for our students to engage in interactive experiences that spark imaginations.
Many teachers are struggling with how to address STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) topics in this time of social-distancing and remote-learning. Even for schools that are meeting in person, many of the hands-on lesson plans that teachers might have previously utilized are incredibly challenging under distancing and cleanliness guidelines. After all, who really has time to sanitize every block in a base-ten-blocks set between students? No one.
If you want to learn modeling, MyStemKits STEAM Design Challenges are definitely the way to go about it. The activities guide you step-by-step through the process of creating a variety of objects, while equipping you with the skills necessary to build your own unique constructions. To supplement that collection of resources, MyStemKits has assembled a general “tips toolbox” of things to consider and strategies to employ for successful 3D modeling.
Neil Armstrong and landing on the moon. The space shuttle Challenger. The International Space Station. Pictures of ice from the Mars rovers. These are the different things that come to my mind when thinking of space exploration and education. These are topics that have probably been discussed, researched, and studied in classrooms everywhere. But how often is space exploration a part of student learning?
Cartography is the science of collecting and interpreting geographic data and using it to create maps. This assists us with regional planning, emergency response coordination, traveling, land surveying, and both sea and space exploration. The individuals who possess the knowledge and talent to produce the maps we need are called Cartographers or Photogrammetrists.
This pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Schools are working towards creating an environment where students can learn at home by equipping them with the necessary technology to make the “virtual classroom” a reality. Unfortunately, STEM learning doesn’t appear to be a focus and it needs to be.