You might need to go unplugged Rick?
Scientists and engineers wouldn’t think of engaging in such projects without documenting them. Because there are four stages to these projects, if done properly: design, build, test, document. The Dyson challenges describe how to do things, but skimp on methods for sharing your results.
The future of the nation and the world depends on an engaged, informed, and critically-thinking population. That means we need more than just STEM, more than technological advances, and more than high standardized test scores. We need MESH and civic competence as well.
When the hype around 3D printing was at its peak, it was confidently predicted that every household would soon have a personal printer – ala the home-computing revolution.
That’s not the way it turned out. As per the Gartner Hype Cycle, expectations plummeted into what they term the “trough of disillusionment”.
But 3D printing has now emerged from the trough and it’s slowly making its way toward the verdant “plateau of productivity”.
Let’s bust some myths about Girls in STEM. The GiST provides resources to inspire and inform girls, schools and families in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Explore activities, resources, case studies, lessons, study pathways and careers.
STEM – What exactly is it again?
Prof Kurt Seemann discussed the many entry points associated with STEM. The question that needs to be considered is, what is trying to be done from a pedagogical sense. There is not a STEM curriculum, it is not necessarily a subject (although some make it one), how then do we teach and assess it?
The push for STEM is the economical driver for ‘knowledge economy’. However, maybe the real focus is ‘applied synthesis’? Or comprehending the use of different technology into a coherent application. This made me think of Kin Lane’s recent post on ‘What is an application?’ This push is also a focus on whole-child development, moving towards reasoning and abstraction, moving from simple to complicated to complex.
So support all of this, Seemann discussed the idea of ‘Technacy Education’. Technacy is:
The holistic understanding of technology in relation to the creation, design and implementation of projects.
A part of this is understanding is the incorporation of genre theory that is used to appreciate the various:
- Tool Systems
- Purpose & Context
- Technacy Genre
STEM might then use different kinds of materials etc than other crafts, like pottery.
See a link to the chart here.
Another aspect to consider with all of this is the difference between working scientifically versus working technologically. Ethically, science is concerned about the process of gathering, whereas technology is concerned about how it transforms the world. In regards to STEM, there is a limit to what can be achieved with the material and context available. This reminds me of my discussion a few years ago in regards to coding and purpose.
I am interested in exploring more how the idea of technacy compares with Doug Belshaw’s .
Prof Therese Keane discussed some of the history associated with STEM. This had me thinking how revolutionary logo actually was and probably still is. It is important to remember the history. Keane mentioned books such as Mindstorm and Lifelong Kindergarten. What was interesting was the emphasis on technology as a means to an end.
Lego EV3 and the FIRST Lego League.
Factory of the Future incorporating robotics, laser cutting and 3D printing
Question and Answer Session
Q: Which STEM resources would you recommend?
- Before buying resources, do an audit of what you have in the school. This includes both the human and physical resources
- Get the companies to come out and get the students to explore it.
- Build the capacity and make sure that you are not single point sensitive where change and innovation is dependant on a particular teacher
- Engage with students and get them to be responsible
Q: What skills will students need for the future?
- It is not worth worrying about what jobs are around the corner, worry about what skills and capabilities to embrace novel situations (Dewey)
- How can I convert the requirements on me as a teacher and convert them into novel situations
- The jobs that are dull, boring and dirty will be replaced
- Teach students how to talk and listen. Communication and collaboration matter so much.
- We do not really look at child maturity through all the situations. Sometimes the most successful outcome is to be able to give up and allow somebody else’s idea to succeed.
- Craft is important, not because of the job, but because of what it does in the future.
- It is the quality of the person that will win out in the end
Q: Projects Responding to Real Life Situations
- The trouble in Secondary schools is that we are solving problem after problem, however we do not develop strategies for ways to solve the problem.
The best thing Min. Birmingham could do to improve student STEM enrolments would be to give back the $1.9 billion he ripped from public school funding. The figures show that would have the biggest impact on student STEM results.
Incubate a humane dynamic medium whose full power is accessible to all people.
STEAM education is a way to teach how all things relate to each other, in school and in life. It’s more fun than traditional learning styles and makes more sense to all types of learners because it is based on the natural ways that people learn and are interested in things.