As I write, the 8th Annual STEM Forum & Expo, hosted by NSTA, is taking place in San Francisco. The push is to help students stay motivated in the STEM arena. Studies show that 60% of high school students who start out interested in STEM careers lose interest by their senior year. A study by the Business-Higher Education Forum found that only 17% of high school students are both interested in STEM, and proficient enough in math to succeed.
Virtual content and field trips bring students face-to-face with Earth's most fragile ecosystems, and help keep students engaged. These virtual experiences then allow students to grasp the importance of their own local issues, and hopefully act on them.
Classroom Resources vetted by NSTA teacher curators, are available online, and are easily infusible into an existing curriculum.
Additional new content across a range of interests is being developed to help students stay involved. A few examples are 1) the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, and 2) lesson plans utilizing the Earthrise phenomenon (images of Earth as first viewed by the Apollo 8 astronauts) stimulate a central focus for exploring Earth's global systems and how they change over time. Also the “Physics Aviary” site has hundreds of physics-related simulations, labs, etc., for students or teachers to assimilate into their wheelhouse of STEM experiences.
STEM is on the move!
By: Larry Johnson