Can’t find a grant that will fully fund your STEM program? Never fear! While large-scale funding operations may be able to provide bigger grants, they also usually require bigger grant proposals, bigger post-grant reporting and a bigger team of grant writers. Instead, look for help among the people who know your students best — your local community. With a bit of creativity, community involvement and a passion to provide your students with the best STEM program ever, you’ll have your money, materials and mentors in no time.
In order to solve funding problems and increase STEM education opportunities, many teachers and organizations are turning to STEM grants. Once reserved for exceptionally large projects and institutions, these grants have adapted to meet the current needs of educators. Both nationally and locally, there are grants available for every classroom. Grant applications can be daunting, but with these Top 10 Tips to Building a Successful STEM Grant Proposal, securing funding for your classroom just got that much easier.
So, you have some big dreams for the school year, but you’re not sure where the funds will come from. What do you do? One of the best ways to fund your educational program is through grants. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are about as close to free money as it gets.
It’s no secret that the STEM fields are struggling with an incredible gender gap problem. Even though they made up over 57% of the workforce in 2015, women only account for 46% of science professionals, 24% of computer and math professionals, 15% of engineering and architecture professionals and 10% of advanced manufacturing professionals (STEM2.org) — and those numbers aren’t exactly skyrocketing. According to a 2018 National Science Board survey, only 28% of STEM workers are women.
So, why are women so underrepresented in the STEM fields?
Today, reinforced negative stereotypes embedded in culture and society inhibit women from chasing their STEM passions and dreams. Around 80% of girls do not pursue degrees in science and engineering fields (NSB, 2018). To address this shortage and create a better, stronger future, STEM industries need to focus on diversity by promoting women’s participation. Without the participation of women, we have only half the brain power, half the spirit, and ultimately, half the potential.
History is full of heroes. Some wear capes and wield weapons, defending the lives of innocent citizens, while others pick up a pen to write the words that shape a culture. But there’s nothing supernatural about the heroes highlighted here — they’re in a class of their own. They don lab coats and safety glasses to experiment with unknown substances. They use chalkboards and mathematical tables to calculate paths to undiscovered worlds. In their lifetimes, they helped shape humanity’s understanding of the world. These are the SHEroes of STEM.
For any great design, there is a great plan. From Leonardo da Vinci to Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, the inventors and innovators who created the world we live in each began as a person with an idea. An idea turned into a plan and the plan turned into a prototype and the prototype turned into a product. That process — moving from an idea to a finished product — is known as the engineering design process and isn’t only for famous inventors. This technique can be used by anyone and is a great way for students to learn STEM principles. Let’s take a look at what the engineering design process is made of, then see how you might integrate it into your teaching.
When you first decide to introduce a new STEM program into your classroom, it can be hard to know where to start. Do you focus on one subject area, or do you bring in multiple areas of interest? How do you know your students are going to be engaged with the new curriculum? How can you bring them to the doorstep of discovery? When we were asked, “How do I introduce STEM to my classroom?” we put our heads together and designed a package that incorporates relevant topics with all the facets of STEM, allowing learners to discover their own interests by participating in hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math activities. We call it Discover STEM LAB.
If you are a recreational drone pilot, how and where you fly is about to change. Whether you’re a hobbyist, educator or anyone else flying without compensation, the FAA is preparing to release a new set of airspace authorization laws in the Summer of 2019, and it’s up to you to make sure you or your flyers continue to pilot legally.