Toymakers and brands lend a hand to science, technology, engineering and mathematics education

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Image: Getty# 1140106893 / Boys Playing With A STEM Toy

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

If you were to close your eyes and imagine an inventor, what would you picture?

For most people, the image of a lone genius toiling away in solitude is a strong one. From Einstein figuring out physics formulas, to Edison in his patent office and Steve Jobs in his garage, many of our greatest thinkers needed lots of time and a space to work out their ideas before stunning the rest of the world with their innovations.

But some of the world’s greatest minds aren’t just determined to make something new. Instead, they strive to find ways to pass novel ideas on to others. These inventors are also educators, solving the problem of how to raise the next generation of scientists and engineers by providing new ways of learning. They are the tinkerers, toymakers, and entrepreneurs who continue to innovate, providing fun ways for students of all ages to internalize the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills that they will need to solve the problems of tomorrow. …


Improve science, technology, engineering & math outcomes with this practical knowledge

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Image: Getty# 207915098 / Family Sitting At Table

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

In the rush to incorporate more STEM learning into school curricula, a major selling point has always been that STEM learning leads to better jobs. While it’s true that, on average, STEM jobs pay more than liberal arts jobs, the gap in pay tends to narrow over time.

First jobs in STEM will almost certainly pay more than entry-level positions in teaching or social work, but fast-changing tech fields require ongoing education, which is an expensive investment. …


An analysis of the country’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics education assets

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Image: Getty# 861234452 / Young Boy On A Laptop

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

Launched in 2014, the Make in India initiative is aimed at rebuilding the Indian economy, transitioning away from its heavy reliance on the service sector and moving towards the creation of a global hub of manufacturing and innovation. It’s a huge effort for one of the world’s biggest and most vibrant nations, and one that requires vast amounts of infrastructure and investment.

India is also working hard to pivot into a post-COVID world by seeking investment and enticing investors to leave behind factories in China for more innovative — and less tariffed — shores. Companies like Apple are taking note and have already begun shifting production to India. …


Preserving An International Educational Movement

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Image: Getty# 925114826 / Young Woman Writing Equations

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

Ask anyone what STEM education is all about, and they will dutifully rattle off the meaning of the acronym: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Dig a little deeper, and you’re likely to hear responses like these:

“Oh, my kid’s school has a great STEM program. There’s a new robotics club with cool gizmos to play with.”

“Schools should invest more in STEM because coding is an essential twenty-first century skill.”

“Having a good STEM program makes it easier to get into college, study computers, and get a high-paying tech job.”

While these ideas aren’t necessarily incorrect, they’re very telling about how we have been trained to see STEM over the past decade or so. Notice that each one of these responses focuses on coding and gadgets as shorthand for four entirely different fields of study. …


At the intersection of educational technology and pedagogy

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Image: Getty# 896235288 / Young Girl Looking Through Cardboard Viewfinder At Robot

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

We’re approaching an important milestone for STEM education: The movement is nearing its 30th anniversary. The crucial, yet often overlooked, origins of the modern-day STEM movement began in the early 1990s with Dr. Charles E Vela through his work at the Center for the Advancement of Hispanics in Science and Engineering Education (CAHSEE).

That STEM turning the corner into full adulthood makes perfect sense, given its multidecade evolution and widespread appeal. The teaching of science, technology, engineering and math as a philosophy rather than siloed subjects and rote memorization has come into its own. …


Addressing common mistakes to save time and money

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Image: Getty# 514404636 / Young Woman Holding Tablet In A Makerspace

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

For STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) learning to be truly effective, it must be both a minds-on and hands-on endeavor. The reality of our fast-paced world is that it’s impossible to prepare students for the jobs of the future simply by teaching them rote content and subject matter. The computer science course taught today will be outdated in just a few years.

Instead, the most valuable STEM enrichment is the kind that focuses on skills that can be applied to a wide range of industries. The scientific method, creative problem-solving, TRIZ methodology and evidence-based planning / evaluation are always applicable. …


Do structured video game offerings have a place at school?

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Image: Getty ID# 1132281836 / Male Student Playing Esports

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

Esports — video gaming organized into amateur and professional seasons of play and capstone tournaments — has exploded in popularity over the last several years. A report from Newzoo predicts that casual audiences will grow to some 307 million viewers by 2021, while Deloitte found that industry investment grew 837% between 2017 and 2018. Generation Z is the gaming generation, with 91% of children between ages 2 and 17 enjoying video games in some form.

Given the huge popularity of video games, the rise of esports should not be surprising. Many schools are now embracing esports, as students form clubs and begin to participate in organized leagues. A growing number of universities even offer esports as a varsity program on par with traditional college sports — including scholarships to play. …


Tips to Help Create an Optimal Learning Environment at Home with FREE Parent / Teacher Resource

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Image: Getty ID# 1204258364 / Children Wearing Respirator Masks & Medicine Gloves

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

For parents whose children have been kept home from school, the coronavirus pandemic presents extra challenges. In addition to anxiety about the economy and your family’s health, you also want to keep kids calm, safe, happy, and educated. Researchers have already studied the “summer slide” — a tendency to regress in learning during summer vacation — but we don’t yet know what the potential for many months of disruption resulting from the spread of COVID-19 could mean for academic progress.

Fortunately, there are many ways to continue meaningful learning at home — in fact, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of resources and being shared to help pass time in doors constructively. To help you navigate your new normal as overseer of your child’s at-home education, try these tips for keeping homeschooling manageable as you shelter in place. …


Deviation And Evolution Perspectives Of A Broader, Popular Movement

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Image: Getty ID# 1042985584 / Various STEM Items Sprawled Out On Desk

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

STEM as an acronym has a long, complex history that can make it difficult to reach consensus on exactly what this important educational movement is all about, but there are some basic features that many can agree on. The Congressional Research Service provides a solid definition:

“The term ‘STEM education’ refers to teaching and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It typically includes educational activities across all grade levels — from preschool to post-doctorate — in both formal (e.g., classrooms) and informal (e.g., afterschool programs) settings.”

This sounds straightforward enough, but over the years there has been plenty of disagreement about where STEM comes from and where it’s going. I’ve already explored some of the “lost history” of the movement, but understanding the past is only part of the story. It’s also important to take a look at the current state of STEM to get a sense of where the future may lead. …


A framework to help STEM reach its enormous potential in schools and workplaces

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Image: Shutterstock ID# 585782963 / Teen Students Working Together

Written by: Andrew B. Raupp / @stemceo

When we discuss STEM education, it’s easy to focus on acts of teaching and learning. But if our vision of STEM is only confined to the classroom, we risk ignoring a large portion of what the true essence of STEM education is all about. It is more than just a collection of subjects taught in isolation. In its truest form, STEM is a state of mind: a practice of critical thinking and problem-solving that learners engage in throughout life.

Access to STEM education is a social justice issue that goes far beyond the latest pedagogical trends or trinkets. It is becoming increasingly more apparent that we are at an inflection point in human history when those who effectively apply STEM can either improve the lives of many or contribute to the acceleration of profound societal inequality. As practitioners, we have a responsibility to leverage the power of STEM to alleviate disparities in our own communities and beyond, which would likely result in an era of peace and human progress. …

About

Andrew B. Raupp

Founder @stemdotorg | @Entrepreneur #AI, #Education & #Blockchain Writer | @ForbesTechCncl | Contributing Editor @Newsweek | NWU 1981 + IFJ | #STEM Advocate

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