Technology

#slowchated – Week of March 2-7, STEM/STEAM

STEM/STEAM chat!
March 2-7, 2015

S – Science
T – Technology
E – Engineering
[A – Arts]
M – Mathematics

So we’ve all heard of STEM, and many of us have heard of STEAM, but do we actually do this in the classroom? I’m a 7th grade science teacher, but I mostly focus on science, with a little bit of technology thrown in. We look at data tables and make graphs, but admittedly, many of my students still have no clue the difference between the x-axis and the y-axis. Occasionally, I’ll spice it up a lesson with an engineering task. Arts? Well, sometimes we draw stick figures, does that count?!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not giving STEAM it’s proper place in my classroom. One of my biggest worries for the future of our students is that we will have a country filled with science-illiterate citizens making big decisions. As a teacher in California, I see a heavy emphasis on English and math, while all the other subjects are becoming secondary. I assume it is similar in other parts of the country. While literacy and math skills are important, we can’t discredit science, history, and the arts because they are what make many students want to show up to school. We all need to work together to encourage students to seek out STEM-related opportunities and careers. How will you help?

While considering STEAM, it is important to consider two underrepresented groups in STEM-related careers: minorities and women.

Minorities in STEM:

 

Infographic-10-Startling-Stats-About-Minorities-in-STEM1-e1340812262390

Image source: http://www.transportationyou.org/infographic-10-startling-stem-stats/

Women in STEM:

stem-facts-on-women-girls

Image source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bonniemarcus/2014/03/28/mentors-help-create-a-sustainable-pipeline-for-women-in-stem/

More Resources:
TED Talk “Growing up in STEM as a girl”:
http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Growing-up-in-STEM-as-a-girl-Ca

Article on STEAM from US News:
http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2014/02/13/gaining-steam-teaching-science-though-art

I look forward to chatting with you all this week. Remember, one question per day Monday through Saturday!

-Mari Venturino
@msventurino

 

PS. If you’re like me, you get anxious when you don’t get a preview of the questions. Here they are!

Q1: How do you incorporate STEAM into your lessons? #slowchated

Q2: How can we break down barriers to incorporating STEAM into our classrooms? #slowchated

Q3: Share your favorite STEM/STEAM resources! #slowchated

Q4: Why do you think minority students feel discouraged from pursuing STEAM-related careers? #slowchated

Q5: How do you encourage girls to get involved in STEM-related fields, especially in MS and beyond? #slowchated

Q6: What action step are you going to take next week to add more STEAM-related fun into your classroom? #slowchated

 

Advertisements

Defining Our #EduFuture (August 18-24)

 old school

“The future” is a loaded term – one that evokes tremendous flights of imagination AND trepidation in myriad art forms.  Most science fiction looks into the future (or, like Star Wars, looks at societies from “long ago” that are clearly more technologically advanced than we are) and sees a mixture of fantastical technology and dystopic social realities.  The list is long: in the recent film Elysium, the technology exists to cure terminal cancer by simply lying down in a machine for a few moments, but this is only accessible to the wealthy who have fled Earth to live on a (really cool looking) space station; the rest of humanity lives in squalor and disease.

Our vision for the future – at least through the lens of science fiction – is rife with deep anxiety and stark dichotomies.

Is science fiction arguing that, the more powerful our technology becomes, the more fractured our social dynamic?   (more…)