This guest post is from David Lockett, a teacher at Homer Pittard Campus School in Murfreesboro and Director of STEM Inquiry for Girls, a nonprofit that introduces girls in K-6 to female role models in STEM. David believes the teacher’s role in STEM inquiry is to provide access to quality programs and encourage students to develop higher-order thinking through STEM-related experiences.
Promoting and encouraging STEM participation among K-6 students in the scientific community leads to curiosity and eventually discovery. But most students don’t even realize how much STEM matters to their daily lives.
The most overlooked fact about STEM is that science and math are foundations for engineering and technology. The skills required to be productive citizens in the near future will be dramatically different. It may soon become socially unacceptable to show up unprepared for any task without skills in science and math, not to mention without engineering or technological abilities. Students must equip themselves today with the STEM tools of tomorrow.
Through a grant partnership with Nissan and the Business Education Partnership Foundation, Stem Inquiry for Girls engages students in a variety of leadership activities, competitions, robotics, and career exploration opportunities. Helping these girls at a young age to create, participate in, and perform hands-on experiments increases their understanding of STEM concepts.
Stem Inquiry for Girls places a certified teacher in the afterschool classroom to empower girls with the knowledge of just how much science impacts their lives. The girls meet after school for an interactive, hands-on science lab that conforms to current science benchmark standards and their classroom assignments. Involved educators and advocates in the Rutherford community focus on guiding these students to enhance firsthand talents with teamwork and comprehension challenges.
2nd grader BeBe Falkner said, “Mondays are really fun! I get to be with my friends and learn about how concrete is made.” Abby Loughry said, “I get to build a sensor guided robot and do experiments with Project WET that explain the environment around us.”
Additionally, these classroom labs are dedicated to increase participation and emphasizing success and teamwork. This club for “GIRLS ONLY” piques the endless possibilities of the human mind and plants lifelong seeds for scientific inquiry. Fully engaged students learn to embrace fundamental scientific and mathematical concepts while they develop new interests that will advance their achievements both in and outside the classroom.
The ultimate objective is to inspire tomorrow’s students to pursue future careers in STEM.