Women in STEM

While International Women’s Day has come and gone, we’re reposting this post from March to stick with the Women in STEM theme we’ve been sporting this week on Twitter. Enjoy!

 

Dr. Delores Etter

Dr. Delores Etter

We have a confession to make: the STEM Works team is comprised entirely of women. While we do collaborate with some wonderful male teachers for our CSI camps, the day-to-day management of our programs lacks a y chromosome. So, now that you know the truth, does that change your view of our work?

Danielle

Social Media Communications Director Danielle Caldwell

The unfortunate truth is that women are often met with scrutiny when entering and pursuing careers in a variety of STEM fields. While we are lucky to live in a time in which a number of organizations are working to promote STEM careers to women and girls, the fact remains that females are still largely underrepresented in a variety of STEM fields. That’s why we thought we would celebrate upcoming International Women’s Day—taking place on March 8, 2014—with a special Women in STEM scavenger hunt.

Lindsey small

STEM Program Director Lindsey Groark

While we are a team of women, we are bummed to admit that in the past we have let International Women’s Day go largely unmarked. While we were peripherally familiar with the occasion, we weren’t totally clear on its robust history and thematic way of celebrating women on a global scale. Once we heard the theme for this year’s celebration, Inspiring Change, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to highlight notable women of STEM’s past and present. Whether you’re working with a class, a club, or even your own children, celebrate International Women’s Day with our Women in STEM scavenger hunt. And once you’ve finished learning about these inspirational women, be sure to visit our Women in STEM Hall of Fame page to discuss the women that personally inspire you!

(Note: the only pictures of the two other members of our team that we have are fake mugshots we use for our CSI camps, so we thought we’d wait till we obtained more flattering photos of them before publishing them on the site.)

National Robotics Week: Design a Bot Scavenger Hunt

Dustbot_Demo_Pontedera_001You may already be aware, but National Robotics Week starts this coming Saturday. This celebration, which takes place April 5-13, 2014, provides a number of ideas, activities, and resources for those who wish to explore and highlight the field of robotics. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with why robotics is important to society, the celebration’s website says it best:

“Robotics is positioned to fuel a broad array of next-generation products and applications in fields as diverse as manufacturing, health-care, national defense and security, agriculture and transportation. At the same time, robotics is proving to be uniquely adept at enabling students of all ages to learn important science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and at inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM-related fields. Robotics Week is a week-long series of events and activities aimed at increasing public awareness of the growing importance of “robo-technology” and the tremendous social and cultural impact that it will have on the future of the United States.”

Yet it is true that the field of robotics can seem somewhat daunting to newcomers. To add our contribution to National Robotics Week, we have created a robotics-themed Scavenger Hunt for the month of April. This “Design a Bot” scavenger hunt acquaints students (and everyone else) with the week-long celebration of robotics, and provides an opportunity to envision their very own bots.This hunt will help students find their way to a starting point in robotics, and ultimately will introduce them to some professionals in the field. So if you feel like celebrating National Robotics Week at home or in your classroom—and we really, really think you should—we hope that this fun activity will find a way into your weekly repertoire! So check it out, will ya?

 

Women in STEM

photo-etter

Our fearless leader, Executive Director Dr. Delores Etter

We have a confession to make: the STEM Works team is comprised entirely of women. While we do collaborate with some wonderful male teachers for our CSI camps, the day-to-day management of our programs lacks a y chromosome. So, now that you know the truth, does that change your view of our work?

Danielle

Social Media Communications Director Danielle Caldwell

The unfortunate truth is that women are often met with scrutiny when entering and pursuing careers in a variety of STEM fields. While we are lucky to live in a time in which a number of organizations are working to promote STEM careers to women and girls, the fact remains that females are still largely underrepresented in a variety of STEM fields. That’s why we thought we would celebrate upcoming International Women’s Day—taking place on March 8, 2014—with a special Women in STEM scavenger hunt.

Lindsey small

STEM Program Director Lindsey Groark

While we are a team of women, we are bummed to admit that in the past we have let International Women’s Day go largely unmarked. While we were peripherally familiar with the occasion, we weren’t totally clear on its robust history and thematic way of celebrating women on a global scale. Once we heard the theme for this year’s celebration, Inspiring Change, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to highlight notable women of STEM’s past and present. Whether you’re working with a class, a club, or even your own children, celebrate International Women’s Day with our Women in STEM scavenger hunt. And once you’ve finished learning about these inspirational women, be sure to visit our Women in STEM Hall of Fame page to discuss the women that personally inspire you!

(Note: the only pictures of the two other members of our team that we have are fake mugshots we use for our CSI camps, so we thought we’d wait till we obtained more flattering photos of them before publishing them on the site.)

Why we do what we do (and how we’re bridging the gap between our programs)

ThNKYOU

I wanted to start this post by thanking all of you who are taking the time out of your busy lives to check out our blog. On Friday, we officially hit the 6 month mark for this blog and were excited to surpass 5,000 visits to this site in that period. We are honored to be a part of such an incredible community and look forward to continuing sharing the STEM content, ideas, and stories that intrigue us. I hope that our blogs amuse, inform, and even sometimes challenge you and the way you think about and advocate STEM. We always welcome your thoughts and insight so please send us a note or comment on our posts to engage in this important conversation!

This week we hit the road to visit old and new friends in Colorado to host a CSI Teacher Workshop and CSI Camp-for-a-Day and thought it would be a great time to explain a little more about why we do the things we do and how our various efforts are more connected than they may seem at first glance.

We mentioned that our team works & lives all over the country, right?

We mentioned that our team works & lives all over the country, right?

As you may (or more likely not) have noticed, we have two distinct sets of programs within our STEM portfolio: our STEM websites (KidsAhead & STEM-Works) and our CSI camps (Summer camps, camps-for-a-day, and teacher workshops). The websites are the internationally-reaching arms of our portfolio and aim to provide students and advocates around the world with engaging STEM content from around the Internet. Since we pull quality STEM content from around the Internet, as well as add our own novel content, these sites are a great place to find all kinds of materials to advocate STEM (and in the case of KidsAhead, it’s a great place to have your students check out for content that interests them).

On the other side of the portfolio, we have our CSI Camps. This includes three different programs:

  • CSI Summer Camps: offered in Dallas, TX and include a full week of hands-on activities and engaging presentations from real world forensic scientists and law enforcement officials
  • CSI Camps-for-a-Day: a condensed version of our summer camps offered over the course of one day in military-connected communities (we’re headed to Colorado Springs now to meet our next group of teachers and students!)
  • CSI Teacher Workshop: a program geared toward teaching our SMU CSI curriculum to teachers and providing them with resources to successfully utilize this curriculum in their classrooms and communities

So, now that you have a basic overview of the work that we do, and in honor of our CSI events in Colorado this week, we decided to launch a special edition of our bi-monthly scavenger hunts on KidsAhead to bridge the divide between our websites and CSI programs. This scavenger hunt, which was launched yesterday, invites you to take part in the fun and help to solve a mock crime that is related to the one that was investigated this week at our CSI Camp-for-a-Day. For more information about this “Closing the Case” scavenger hunt please visit http://bit.ly/HAoSZS. Try this challenge out and when you complete it and identify the perpetrator share your findings with us here !

Scavenger Hunts

Capture

Now that our camp season has come and gone, our STEM Works team has been working on an exciting new feature for our Kids Ahead website. Since we know how often teachers, parents, and other educators are often looking for more fun and interactive ways to incorporate STEM learning into their daily routine, we are excited to present our new Scavenger Hunts feature.  Whether used as a warm-up exercise or a continual activity, these scavenger hunts will introduce students to some exciting new concepts and connect them with the larger community. A new Scavenger Hunt will be launched on the first and third Tuesday of every month. And don’t put off joining in on the fun… these activities must be completed before the next one is launched!

The first hunt to kick off our series will take you on a tour of the world to learn about biometric technology. So don’t wait! Grab your class, family, group, or club, and take advantage of our new Scavenger Hunts! Click here to visit the first activity.