STEAM learning can–and should–be engaging, exciting, and relevant for students.
“Whatever we do has a STEAM ramification,” says Joann DiGennaro, co-founder and president of the Center for Excellence in Education, which offers free programs to help outstanding high school students achieve successful careers in science, tech and fulfill leadership roles.
“Laboratory experiments for middle and high school students haven’t changed in 40 years. We need better teacher training. Students are looking for excitement, and visual learning is very important,” she says.
More opportunities for STEAM are necessary outside of the school day, too.
“Kids need more after-school activities and more interplay with corporations and scientists visiting classrooms,” DiGennaro says. STEAM competitions are important, too, and shouldn’t be cut out just because they are competitions. “Competition is being attacked, which is really a disservice to students and innovation. Students must learn to be elegant winners and elegant losers, and competitions and science projects are great ways for them to work in groups and see what others are doing.”
These groups are doing their part to advance STEAM learning for students, including girls and underserved students. And if you’ve got other plans on November 8, don’t worry–these resources and activities can be used year-round to engage your students.
1. Amazon’s Amazon Future Engineer is a comprehensive childhood-to-career program to inspire, educate, and train children and young adults from underserved and low-income communities to pursue careers in computer science. Amazon aims to inspire more than 10 million kids each year to explore computer science.
It's National STEAM Day! Check out some great learning resources.
2. Through its after-school clubs and specialized summer programs, Girls Who Code offers learning opportunities and paves pathways for students to excel in computing.
3. GEMS (Girls Excelling in Math and Science) has been working since 1994 to increase interest in STEM for girls in elementary and middle school and to expose girls to the fun and wonder of these fields.
4. Discovery Education has a range of important and engaging activities that give students a glimpse of what a career in STEAM might be like.
5. Siemens STEM Day provides tools and activities for educators with every level of STEM expertise. The goal is to take the guesswork out of finding low-cost, high-engagement activities that will fit easily into a 45 minute-1 hour lesson.
6. Challenger Center and its global network of Challenger Learning Centers use space-themed simulated learning and role-playing strategies to help students bring their classroom studies to life and cultivate skills needed for future success, such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication and teamwork. Challenger Center’s free, hands-on STEM lessons and activities are aligned to current national education standards.