The need to incorporate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) regularly in the curriculum is essential. Why? Research has shown that the call for STEM-related jobs has grown much faster, as much as three times more, than the call for other jobs. The investment of time and resources in STEM instruction now is an investment in the STEM workforce.
Bob Wallace, a now retired high school biology teacher in Crawfordville, Florida (U.S.), was resolute in his goal that his students graduate with a full range of academic skill sets and technical knowledge that would prepare them for a successful future. In his over 30 years of teaching, he found that textbooks alone could rarely explain important concepts that kept his students engaged. Because of this, he employed a variety of strategies to explain difficult science concepts to his students. He was consistently on the lookout for options that would keep his students engaged. He stated, “Over the years, I’ve used a lot of different things. I have done drawings on boards, still magnets, and I’ve used beads – the beads go bouncing all over the place and you end up losing all of them.”
Christine Tarver, a former 5th grade teacher in Florida (U.S.), was determined that her students advance their abilities and skills using education technology. She wanted her students to experience hands-on learning combined with emerging technologies, understanding that by doing so they were more likely to develop the critical skills necessary for the 21st century.
Many teachers are struggling with how to address STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) topics in this time of social-distancing and remote-learning. Even for schools that are meeting in person, many of the hands-on lesson plans that teachers might have previously utilised are incredibly challenging under distancing and cleanliness guidelines. After all, who really has time to sanitise every block in a base-ten-blocks set between students? No one.
Integrating new technology can be very intimidating. It is important to approach educational technology in a way that looks and feels successful. Robo3D and MyStemKits help educators feel that technology can be integrated effectively by providing an end-to-end solution for STEM learning. By pairing 3D printing technology and research-based pedagogical techniques, educators can use this Boxlight STEM solution to enhance 21st century learning.