Where will the next generation of discoveries in science and innovations in technology come from? Will the US continue its leadership in pursing world problems and engineering solutions? If Americans are to lead in the future we will need to educate our students today using best practices and even groundbreaking methods, especially in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). How are we educating young people today and what educational innovations might lead to a greater number of students engaging with STEM and pursuing careers in these fields? An informed and critically thinking citizenry is at stake as well as a healthy US economy in a globally competitive marketplace.
From The White House to IBM and the National Science Foundation to Motorola Solutions Foundation, individuals and groups are calling for innovations in STEM education to ultimately make our world a better place. What are the problems within our existing system of STEM education, what changes are currently in the works, and what types of innovations could move us still forward?
The fall 2016 IPRO 301 team will have a range of experiences that create value for STEM stakeholders and members of the team as well:
For spring 2017, we plan to continue our work with YOUmedia: an informal education program within The Chicago Public Library system (refer to http://www.chipublib.org/programs-and-partnerships/youmedia/). Specifically, this IPRO began collaborating with the staff at the Humboldt Park Library in fall 2016 to research, propose and test STEM activities for the library’s middle-school-aged clients. Some activities were designed to be carried out within the environment of Chicago’s 606 trail, most within the library building, itself. Working in small groups, we will continue to create, develop, test and refine our STEM activity ideas with research, and the users and stakeholders in mind.