This week is Engineers Week! It is a time to connect kids to real-world engineering problems and expose them to what engineers really do. Read on to learn more about the engineering design process and how to use it in education, as well as how to make an engineering kit for your budding engineers. Oh, and there is a freebie too!
STEM education is sweeping the nation. From robotics competitions to coding games, school districts are scrambling to provide STEM programs while teachers sift through thousands of Pinterest pins in search of quality activities. As a STEM Director, I am always looking for new curriculum ideas, but my biggest frustration is the wide-range of activities that are labeled "STEM." Building a tower from spaghetti and tape is categorized the same as programming a Lego Mindstorm to navigate a maze. One project takes 10 minutes while the other requires weeks of critical thinking and learning a programming language. We need further clarification to distinguish these levels in STEM education. To help guide educators and administrators in the implementation of curriculum and development of programs, we propose the following 3 stages of STEM Education.