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The Future of STEM

August 27, 2013

Many of you who read the blog regularly know that I’m very enthusiastic about the future of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education.  As a B-average student who relied on geek smarts to get by, it’s always good to see technology go more mainstream in this coming generation.

There’s a young lady who’s always impressed me since the day I met her, four years ago or so.  Go read her blog on the NCWIT site to see a good overview of her Girls Get IT! camps, and the approach she uses.

I have been fortunate to have the best teachers work with me for the Girls Get IT! Camps. They are all high school girls that have a passion to get other girls involved. The growth that I’ve seen from my team is amazing, from the first to the last day of camp (and these ladies were amazing before I met them!). One fantastic fact about this summer is that every teacher pictured had attended a camp and then came back to teach this year.

Girls Get IT! is different because the teachers (high school girls) are the ones who create the curriculum, plan the activities, and teach the sessions. The program is designed by girls, run by girls, and is for girls. Having the girls taught by high school girls made the whole experience more fun, more rewarding, and easier for the girls to relate to and understand.

It is important for girls to realize that technology is out there for them but what is priceless is when they have the confidence in themselves to help each other. Every year as I walk through sessions during camp and see a girl helping her neighbor, you would have never guessed that she learned how to program a robot to go forward in RobotC just five minutes earlier!

Yep, you read it right.  High-school girls teaching high-school girls.  It works, mostly because the teachers then understand how their students learn and respond to teaching.  You don’t have to be a teacher to drive a great education, just ask our blog buddy L.  But it does help to be enthusiastic.

Anyway, you should expect to be hearing from Savannah a lot more.  She’s just that kind of lady.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 30, 2013 8:46 pm

    The key that you and your friend Savannah have is this: student-led learning. When you can tap into the natural curiosity all humans have, then the sky’s the limit.

    Some moms at Tampa Bay Heat (.org) began a STEM class this year. Older Son is one of their students, and so far so good. First week they monitored a homemade rain gauge, this week a homemade barometer is added to the mix. Also he’s studying simple machines and keeps. tinkering. with the lego car meant to compete with other students’.

    In a culture that seems hell-bent on deadening our curiosity, keeping that curiosity alive is more important than the stuffing of young bowls of mush with dry info.

    Thanks for the link my friend!

    Linda

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