Empower Students to Build STEM Dreams with Accessible Digital Resources

by Mark Case, Science Teacher at Southern Guilford High Schools

Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride famously said: “If you can see it, you can be it.” This now common phrase has special truth in education. Wherever students are learning, seeing people like them represented – especially in ever-growing fields like STEM – helps build their confidence that they too can do anything.

More than ever, the world needs STEM. The COVID crisis, global warming, and other worldwide issues have highlighted the need for future problem solvers and solution seekers. In addition, research shows that by 2028 there will be 10.6 million STEM jobs needing qualified individuals to fill them.  So, there are many, many reasons to integrate STEM into classroom instruction.

To support my efforts to bring STEM to my students, I’ve turned to no cost dynamic digital resources from Siemens STEM Day. An educational initiative from the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education, Siemens STEM Day keeps students connected to their curiosity as it helps them explore the world of STEM. Here are some of my favorite resources:

Possibility Grant Sweepstakes
The Possibility Grant Sweepstakes inspires the next generation of STEM leaders by providing critical resources and support to schools across the United States. The 2021 Possibility Grant Sweepstakes offers FIVE Title 1 K-12 schools an opportunity to win a $5,000 STEM grant that can be used to expand the availability of STEM supplies and technology or to enhance any STEM-related lab. Educators can enter daily for the chance to win big for their school.

Hands-on Activities
After refreshing yourself and your students about key STEM concepts, keep the learning going with dynamic activities that can be done from pretty much anywhere. Divided by grade band and learning level, the nearly 180 activities help students make real-world connections to various STEM sectors such as energy, IT, healthcare, and manufacturing. Complimented with learning objectives aligned to NGSS standards and engaging discussion questions, the diverse array of hands-on activities easily fit into pretty much any classroom.

Career Profiles
Foster student ambitions and interest in STEM by discovering how STEM careers are rapidly changing and expanding from individuals in the field. The paths to rewarding careers in healthcare, engineering, manufacturing and technology vary but all are based on enthusiasm for STEM and the desire to positively impact society.

So, not only is bringing STEM education to wherever teaching takes place a good thing to do for your students, it’s fun! STEM lessons help students learn by doing. Hands-on learning is an engaging and accessible way to help students become self-motivated problem solvers. Every student has the capacity to do great things in life, and the world has its share of problems that need solving – the trick is getting young innovators involved.

So, consider using relevant and accessible experiential learning opportunities like those offered by Siemens STEM Day, which can be found at SiemensSTEMday.com. Discovery Education users can directly integrate these resources into the lesson plan and find more content on the Siemens STEM Day channel.