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.
Medical and health services managers are responsible for planning, directing, and coordinating the behind-the-scenes aspects that keep hospitals, nursing homes, group practices, and other health care facilities running efficiently.
Software developers are the creators of both computer programs and the underlying systems that run said programs. Applications software developers create computer applications and games while systems software developers engineer operating systems and interfaces for the platforms themselves.
Web developers are responsible for designing and creating websites. In addition to ensuring the functionality of the site, they are also in charge of meeting their clients’ aesthetic requests, capacity needs, and technical demands.
Eons ago, when I was in elementary school, we did a unit on fossils and their importance on understanding how prehistoric plants and animals lived. I was fascinated and for a brief moment in 4th grade, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I would stare at all of the pictures of the different fossils and dream about going on a true-blue dig and discover something cool like a fossil from a mammoth or saber tooth tiger. Of course, I never did become a paleontologist instead choosing to teach because that feeling of excitement when I learned something new was one I wanted all young learners to experience. But I do wonder if my teacher had the technology to make different fossils for closer study maybe I would have chosen the paleontology path.
Although generally thought of as only possible in the physical classroom where teachers can observe and guide student exploration and interaction, STEAM learning is possible with distance teaching. How?
Civil engineering is one of the oldest and most diverse engineering disciplines. Civil engineering is linked to advances in science and mathematics, including material science, geography, geology, hydrology, physics, transportation, construction, and mechanics.
I know I’m not alone when I envisioned a future in robotics as Rosie the robot maid on The Jetsons wheeling around dusting my furniture. When I began to see the trends in education to include more robotics and coding, I thought, “Yes! I can have my own Rosie or R2D2!” But that is a simplified vision of what robotics learning, and other advanced tech such as 3D printers, can offer. Educators who were already incorporating robotics and 3D printing could see the benefit these innovations had on their students’ learning – increased engagement, improved critical thinking skills, and enhanced conversation and collaboration in the classroom.
When news of the coronavirus pandemic started to hit close to home (in the U.S.), it became clear that acquiring face masks and shields was a challenge. In many areas, personal protective equipment, or PPE, were in short supply. It was vital that our frontline workers had the protection they needed to keep themselves and their patients safe. In addition, safety was an issue for daily activity by ordinary citizens.
Do you remember the first time you made a paper airplane? Who taught you to fold one? Did your plane fly? I think I was about 6 years old and my uncle visiting from the Philippines showed me how to fold one using one of my homework sheets. I was fascinated as I watched him make the folds, ensuring that each fold was precise, explaining each step. Then he took the newly built paper airplane, lifted his arm, and – whoooosh!-- it flew across my living room. It worked!! This was my first exposure to science and engineering, and it was one I often repeated throughout my elementary school years – design, construction, and test flights to identify the “perfect” paper plane. I was doing STEM before STEM was part of our educational vocabulary! Well, today is National Paper Airplane Day and this is the perfect time to explore the different areas of STEM with one activity.