Have youheard of STEM? According to a 2014 report published by Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center, three out of five parents of school children in rural Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia haven’t. Educators and business leaders in the energy-rich tri-state region must reconcile the community’s newly available economic opportunities with its poor record of career preparation. At least one creative learning program is taking action.
Science On the Road is a Carnegie Science Center initiative that totes hands-on, engaging, high-energy STEM assemblies and workshops from Pittsburgh to schools all over the tri-state region. Building on top of an elementary science and math bedrock, Science on the Road combines an enthusiasm for community outreach with museum-level expertise and corporate resources to generate energy around scientific concepts and their related fields that might seem otherworldly or inaccessible to rural kids. Programs like Anatomy Adventure and Rockin’ Robots promise to bring serious applied math and science out of obscurity—with rockets and explosions and a general sense of levity—for students whose economic futures could ultimately depend upon skills that take root in the interests they acquire as young people.
Initiatives like Science on the Road reflect the recent international interest in matching general education with workforce needs and suggesting professional training alternatives to the sometimes prohibitively high cost of a four-year college education. Does your community have a need for a STEM supplement? Join the discussion on Vialogues.
Excerpts from the discussion
@00:17 kingyoussef: This program represents one of the greatest opportunities for STEM education to impact workforce growth.
@01:35 Kafou: It will be very helpful if this program can be introduced to kids in the low income or poor areas, so they can have some sort of exposure to STEM education at [an] early age.
@01:58 frankshrek: Teaching with demonstrations and experiments helps kids memorize what they learn. This is a great opportunity for kids who don't get to see the experimental part of what they learn in their science classes.