By guest blogger Ann Byrdie Bullock, M.Ed., Middle School Science Teacher, Independence Non-Traditional School in Virginia
As a middle school educator, I know the critical importance of engaging my students in STEM. Research shows that this is the age kids, especially girls, opt out of STEM pursuits.
In a continued effort to inspire my students to explore the engaging world of STEM, my middle school classes joined the Tech for Global Good Virtual Field Trip (VFT). Offered at no cost, the VFT is part of Tech for Tomorrow, a program from The Tech Interactive and Discovery Education that introduces students to today’s cutting-edge technology and inspires them to create enduring innovations for the future.
During the 30-minute experience, my students went behind-the-scenes at The Tech’s family-friendly science and technology center in the heart of downtown San Jose and met a diverse group of individuals who are using data to change the world for the better. In addition, my students discovered how the United Nations is using data to help solve health crises, how information systems are used to find solutions to homelessness, the ways technology is being used to address economic inequality, and how new smart devices are saving cattle.
The 2020 Tech for Global Good Laureates featured in the VFT also demonstrated how STEM can solve the world’s biggest challenges. Since 2001, more than 300 Laureates have been honored. These innovators are incredibly diverse, not just in their backgrounds, where they live, and what they do, but also in the types of technology they use. Through their stories, students are motivated to become problem-solvers in their own area by applying their natural curiosity to create innovative solutions.
Technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence, and data science are all being used to solve global problems. Spark curiosity and keep your classroom connected to the real world in exciting ways by including the VFT in your next lesson plan. The accompanying educator guide provides important topic tips, tricks, and guidance for how to make the power of STEM learning come to life before, during, and after the virtual experience. The students walk away with the ability to:
Draw conclusions about the characteristics of a successful innovation.
Communicate important information concisely.
Advocate for action towards social good.
Participate in the innovative iteration process.
Consider data gathering and analysis when problem-solving.
So, discover how to make good opportunities come to life through STEM today by streaming the new Tech for Tomorrow Virtual Field Trip now available on-demand. Find this experience and so much more on TechForTomorrow.com. Users of the Discovery Education K-12 Learning Platform can take learning even further in the Tech for Tomorrow channel.