About the STEM Expo
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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: STEM and therefore STEM education, are vital to the future of our country and state and the future of our children. STEM is everywhere and it shapes our everyday experiences.
Have you considered how often we experience STEM in our lives? Science is our natural world of the sun, moon, stars, land, oceans, weather, natural disasters, the diversity of nature, animals (large, small, microbial), plants, food, the fuel that heats our homes and powers transportation…The list is almost endless. In today’s world, Technology means computers, smartphones, virtual reality, coding, 3D printing and robotics but it goes back to television, radio, microscopes, telegraph, telescopes, the compass, and even the first wheel. Yes, engineering designs buildings, roads, and bridges, but it also tackles today’s challenges of transportation, global warming and environment-friendly machines, appliances and systems. We encounter Mathematics at the grocery store, the bank, on tax forms, in dealing with investments, the family budget and even flying drones! All STEM fields depend on mathematics. STEM is important, because it pervades every aspect of our lives.
Let’s consider how STEM effects what is closest and dearest to us – our children. STEM is their future – the technological age in which they live, their best career options, and their key to wise decisions.
STEM careers are truly “helping” professions that build communities and transform nations. These professionals are in charge of solving the complex problems of today’s world and its future. They are working to find solutions for global warming, cancer, third world hunger, disappearing habitats, and an interdependent world economy. Yesterday’s stereotype of the ‘geek’ in a lab coat is not representative of today’s STEAM teams, where economists work with researchers on technical transfer, engineers build the state-of-the-art equipment for businesses working with cutting-edge technologies, robotics clean our pools and vacuum the floors, artificial limbs are being created using 3D printers and scientists fly drones into remote environmental sensitive areas to monitor and record birdlife. STEM careers are both challenging and fun and people in them enjoy going to work every day.
Why a STEM Expo?
STEM as much more than an acronym. It is a philosophy and a way of thinking about how educators at all levels, including parents should be helping students integrate knowledge across disciplines, encouraging them to think in a more connected and holistic way.
Our knowledge of how people learn has grown substantially over the last few decades. We now understand that success in learning requires the learner to be at the centre of the experience, making connections across disciplines and also across contextual settings. Children need to be presented opportunities to learn the same material in different settings and through different lenses. They need role models and superheroes they can look up to, copy from and be inspired by. The traditional approach of teaching topics in isolation does not support the ways that children learn best.
STEM calls on parents and educators to give children chances to investigate an idea in a variety of settings in what educators call cross-contextual learning. For example, in addition to math worksheets to help practice counting, students can practice counting real objects they find outside in the backyard or on their way home from school such as rocks, seed pods or leaves. Their learning is strengthened when they learn the same skills, ideas, and concepts in different settings.
Following on from the success of our 2017 and 2018 events, we want to continue to offer our students and parents fun, interactive, exciting, informative and collaborative workshops in a range of STEM disciplines that we hope will spark their interest in these subjects and kick off an amazing journey of learning, critical thinking, problem solving and creativity in STEM which will equip them with skills for the future.