STEM by Design: Strategies and Activities for Grades 4-8 by Anne Jolly

10. Coordinating Career Technical Education and STEM

  • Career Technical Education (CTE) at it’s best is essentially STEM as it focuses on integrating the four disciplines. CTE offerings include skilled trades, health-care, agriculture, construction, coding, and information technology to name a few. A top example can be found at New Jersey’s High Point Regional High school.
  • Since STEM may already be happening in your school’s CTE classes, you should start by finding out what they are doing. You should be able to share ideas, problems, and solutions for engaging students. Find out the math and science concepts the CTE courses need and do what you can to help. CTE/STEM courses in middle schools can help students make more appropriate choices in their high school course selections.

11. Teaching STEM After School

  • Kids who attend after school programs do better in school and have better attendance. They also are less likely to have problems outside of school. With their greater flexibility, after school programs are idea places for STEM activities. Start with this free pdf. STEM After School: How to Design and Run Great Program Activities. Also check out the Indiana After-School Speciality Standards.
  • Your after-school program can take on a specific focus such as robotics, maker spaces, drones, or coding. In order to have a quality program you first need a teacher with the age-appropriate knowledge of science and math. Like regular day teachers these people need to get to know their students and build strong relationships. They will need access to equipment and materials along with a budget and should focus on keeping it safe. This chapter also includes links to numerous other high quality resources.

12. Including Girls in STEM Class

  • Nationally, only 13% of engineers are women and in other STEM fields the numbers are 25% or less. Minority women represent only 6% of engineers. Reasons include the facts that girls are less likely to take STEM classes, fewer female role models in these professions, societal stereotypes, and genetic predisposition. To counteract these effects Anne recommends that we 1. Build interest in STEM from a young age. 2. Support girls through mentors and role models. 3. Give girls engaging STEM work. 4. Emphasize to girls how people in STEM professions can make things better. 5. Encourage girls to believe in themselves. 6. Introduce girls to female role models. 7. Show how STEM careers lead to success. 8. Expose girls to STEM professions through field trips. 9. Combat gender bias. Part of this is getting men to encourage girls to give STEM careers a try and let them know they can do it.

Appendices

  • Included at the end of book are some frequently asked questions and answers along with additional resources associated with reach chapter. The fifteen pages included here offer more additional resources with links than I have seen in most of the books summarized on my blog.

Anne Jolly @ajollygal

  • Anne is an education consultant, author, and retired middle school science teacher. From 2007 to 2014 she worked on at NSF-funded team that developed middle grades STEM curriculum modules and teacher professional development materials. She has a MiddleWeb blog STEM by Design that extends the information in this book by sharing practical classroom tips and ideas for STEM. She works with the Center for Teaching Quality and serves on the Alabama Math, Science, Technology, and Engineering Coalition Board of Directors. She has also written Team to Teach to facilitate teacher inquiry teams. You can reach her at ajolly@bellsouth.net and follow her on Twitter @ajollygal.
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