It has become increasingly obvious that the inclusion of STEM – science, technology, engineering, mathematics - in a well-balanced instructional plan is critical. With the growing need for STEM-educated individuals to fill STEM jobs, students in schools today need the skills necessary for these jobs. This includes critical thinking and reasoning skills, collaboration and communication skills, and developing creative solutions to problems. Students clearly need consistent and varied STEM learning experiences, and educators need the resources to support them.
Hannah Olson, Co-Creator of the award-winning MyStemKits STEM Curriculum, recently spoke with Larry Jacobs from Equity and Access Pre K-12 (ace-ed.org) on the topic of STEM education and careers, particularly encouraging young women to explore what STEM has to offer.
Bob Wallace, a now retired high school biology teacher in Crawfordville, Florida, was resolute in his goal that his students graduate with a full range of academic skill sets and technical knowledge that would prepare them for a successful future. In his over 30 years of teaching, he found that textbooks alone could rarely explain important concepts that kept his students engaged and employed a variety of strategies to explain difficult science concepts to his students. He was consistently on the lookout for options that would keep his students engaged. He stated, “Over the years, I’ve used a lot of different things. I have done drawings on boards, still magnets, and I’ve used beads – the beads go bouncing all over the place and you end up losing all of them.”
Christine Tarver, a former 5th grade teacher in Florida, wanted her students to experience hands-on learning combined with emerging technologies, understanding that by doing so they were more likely to develop the critical skills necessary for the 21st century.
“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
In response to the growing need for incorporating quality STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) instruction while distance learning, MyStemKits, a division of MimioSTEM, has created Virtual STEM Kits. These 10 kits are designed to work with MyStemKits standards-driven lessons to continue important STEM learning regardless of the learning environment.