STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is everywhere! Our wonderful natural world offers a plethora of topics for scientific studies. Technology, engineering, and math touch nearly every other part of our lives. Over the past several years I’ve seen a huge push to increase STEM exposure in education. All of this is a response to several studies which predict trained workforce shortages in STEM careers.
I attended Louisville’s Mini-Maker Faire on September 10 and was thrilled to find over 100 exhibits making fun through science, technology and engineering. My favorite displays were the very large Battleship game with explosives in a swimming pool, the G-force roller coaster, and power tool racing. It was an enginerd’s playground, which made a great day for me.
Even the Boy Scouts are pushing STEM. They have had STEM related awards for several years. The new push is for STEM Troops. They call it STEM Scouts. This webpage from StemScouts.org says, “Kids, forget building a campfire and do some (fun!) science and math instead.” As the mother of an Eagle Scout and a Life Scout, both of whom completed 70-mile ± treks at Philmont Scout Ranch, I would hate to see scouting’s emphasis on the outdoors diminished. We always learned that 75% of SCOUTING (6 of 8 letters and most of the time spent in the program) is OUTING. In writing this blog, however, I learned that even Philmont Scout Ranch has joined the STEM craze. They now offer STEM Treks.
Opportunities for STEM volunteering are plentiful. The last six years I’ve worked with East Oldham Middle School on DiscoverE, a program to introduce engineering to students. Last year I mentored a Future City team, a competition by students involving many aspects of engineering including planning, use of technology, modeling, and communication. The Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers supports MathCounts and engineering in schools programs.
I know of several current local opportunities for volunteering:
- Oldham County High School is seeking exhibitors for their November 15 STEM Fair. Contact Cathy Middleton if you can help.
- The February Future City competition needs mentors (starting now) and judges (the day of the event). Visit the website or contact Joe Percefull, the Kentucky regional coordinator, for more information.
- East Oldham Middle School is seeking engineer volunteers to speak with science classes. Contact me if you can help.
SMG works to be an advocate for our clients and our community. For more information on how you can get involved in supporting STEM education, contact me at 502-587-6482 x 211 or firstname.lastname@example.org.