“STEM can be affordable. STEM can be easy-to-implement. You just need to know where to go and what to do.” – Braydon Moreno, co-founder of Robo 3D
With a quality STEM education, children from all backgrounds and experiences are able to build on the necessary skills for future careers such as leadership, problem solving, creativity, decision making, and entrepreneurship. It is these skills and the potential of STEM education to nurture innovative thinkers that was the focus of conversation between Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access (ace-ed.org) and Braydon Moreno, Director of Boxlight STEM Solutions and co-founder of Robo 3D. Much of their discussion focused on why and how STEM is critical to education, including as more and more schools are transitioning to hybrid or remote learning.
To listen to this great podcast, click: Skills Needed for Quality STEM Education
The conversation began with how critical it is that children prepare for the skills needed in jobs and careers based in STEM-related fields, jobs that are rapidly growing. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, over the last decade “STEM occupations grew much faster than employment in non-STEM occupations (24.4 percent versus 4.0 percent), and STEM occupations are projected to grow by 8.9 percent from 2014 to 2024, compared to 6.4 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.” (2017)
Says Moreno, “Look at where the trend lines are going. The jobs of tomorrow aren’t in automation. They’re in cyber physical systems. They’re in engineering. They’re in creating. When you look at that, it’s like if we don’t teach STEM in education, the STEM careers that are going to be the major driver of all careers moving forward aren’t going to be fulfilled. You’re going to see a huge skills gap.”
In his role as Director of STEM Solutions at Boxlight, Moreno explained the value of a STEM solution that teachers can use right away without worrying about the complications of not having the right hardware. “STEM can be affordable. STEM can be easy-to-implement. You just need to know where to go and what to do,” he explains. With his own STEM entrepreneurship roots (“We started our 3D printer company on a dining room in San Diego”) to being named as one of Forbes 2017’s “30 Under 30 to Watch”, Moreno has invested his creative energies in moving 3D printing and other STEM products into classrooms around the country.
Moreno has an eye for what teachers can use to meet STEM education goals. Understanding that teachers need solutions with a strong curriculum foundation, he describes MyStemKits: “MyStemKits is a curriculum platform to teach math and science using a 3D printer. So essentially what it does is it takes the topics that teachers are used to teaching but it does them in this fun, engaging, hands-on, exciting way for kids so they can learn these topics and lessons in a new way.”
In addition to Robo 3D printers and MyStemKits standards-driven curriculum, Moreno also advocates for STEM solutions such as Labdisc portable STEM labs and the Mimio MyBot robotics system that can be taken home for hands-on learning if schools are in a hybrid or distance learning situation. If providing hardware is a challenge, there is a virtual STEM solution based on the MyStemKits curriculum. (For more on Virtual STEM Kits, read Virtual STEM Lessons for All Learning Environments)
Moreno is clearly an influential thought leader in STEM education, especially when it comes to every child having the opportunity to grow critical STEM-related, and 21st century, skills. Take some time to listen to this informative and engaging conversation about what STEM learning can be now and its influence on the future.
“We’re still pushing the boundaries of bringing STEM to a distance or hybrid learning environment.”
You can find this and other podcasts and videos about how Boxlight has successfully helped schools and classrooms globally to improve student engagement and learning through our innovative solutions. Go to mimio.boxlight.com/educator-stories-videos-podcasts.
For more on the Boxlight MimioSTEM solutions, including Virtual STEM Kits for hybrid and remote learning environments, go to mimio.boxlight.com/stem-education.
*U.S. Department of Commerce. STEM Jobs: 2017 Update. Retrieved 11/17/2020