DALLAS – March 3, 2014 – STEM professionals from throughout the country are meeting face-to-face with students to talk about their jobs in science, technology, engineering and math, and they don’t have to drive a single mile. These connections are being made through Nepris (Nepris.com), which brings real world relevance in STEM to K-12 classrooms through interactive sessions and project mentoring.
Nepris manages the entire process from teacher requests to the sessions themselves. Teachers submit session requests – which they can align to national standards and state standards – and then Nepris automatically matches the request with qualified STEM professionals who can interact virtually with the classroom. Sessions are live and highly interactive. The professionals engage students with interesting discussions, ask questions, mentor students on projects and show them products, design plans, and videos. Students can ask questions verbally or via simultaneous SMS.
In one example, students at Stipes Elementary School in Irving, Texas met Dr. Dirt (AKA Clay Robinson) who showed them different types of soil and explained its importance to life. Like many of the Nepris sessions, students enthusiastically asked Dr. Dirt questions, periodically calling out “awesome” or “cool” when Dr. Dirt held up rock samples.
Their teacher, Meghan Hunt, feels it is important to expand student horizons beyond classroom walls. “One of the biggest challenges with STEM careers is giving [students] opportunities to see other careers,” said Ms. Hunt. “We are trying to do everything we can now, even at the elementary age, to help them prepare for the future.”
Through Nepris, the type of sessions and topics covered are as varied as the career options themselves. In one Nepris session, middle school students in Livermore, Calif. meet a New York architect who talked about designing energy-efficient, LEED-certified buildings. In another online Nepris session, fifth grade students from Aldridge Elementary School in Texas met Megan Jackson who is a designer at Fossil and Hip Chixs Denim. Ms. Jackson talked about how common measurements the students study in class are used every day in the fashion industry. And, during a session with Clear Lake High School near Houston, an aerospace engineer talked about his higher education studies and the aerospace industry. He then explained basic airplane design concepts the students could use on projects they were creating in class.
“The connection possibilities with Nepris are endless,” said Sabari Raja, Nepris CEO and founder. “We have students meeting professionals who live and work thousands of miles away. Nepris breaks down the barrier of time and space and brings STEM professionals virtually into the classroom. These face-to-face interactions have an immeasurable impact on students and expose them to STEM in new and exciting ways.”
Nepris makes these connections possible in a way that ensures educational standards are being met while giving teachers control of time, place and speaker. Companies have a reliable platform for employees to interact with students and represent their brand. Teachers also can tie each session outline to the Common Core or to individual state curriculum standards.
“We never know if this session is going to spark that love of science,” added Ms. Hunt. “We might have a future pedologist sitting in my class right now because of the session.”
Professionals can see a demo and signup at Nepris.com. Companies can sponsor schools or districts. Individual teachers from elementary, middle or high schools can sign up for free anytime-access to pre-recorded sessions. School, district or classroom licenses are also available.