Building Confidence, Performance, and Participation in S.T.E.M. (2017-18)
This project aims to facilitate diversity of STEM participation across gender, socioeconomic class, race, and academic tracks. More specifically, it addresses underrepresentation of female, black and Latino students in STEM. We will coordinate and expand on initiatives to improve confidence, performance, and participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; research and share best practices; and track data over time.
STEAM, a key component of 21st-century education, provides foundations such as a growth mindset, perseverance, critical thinking, problem solving, observation, and exploration - all vital to success across disciplines. As students build these skills, their sense of empowerment or agency grows exponentially, helping them to tackle issues in our increasingly complex world. A STEAM skillset is fundamental in today’s tech-savvy and saturated world, providing more pathways to academic success and many of the most in-demand and fulfilling careers.
Through a three-tiered and cyclical approach of research, coordination, and outreach, we are facilitating diversity of STEAM participation and therefore, student agency, across gender, socioeconomic class, race, and academic tracks, by providing more opportunities to more students. We hope to build student, faculty, and parent awareness of underrepresentation in STEM subjects, bringing it into the forefront of mindfulness so that the opportunities that currently exist at RCDS may be leveraged to include more underrepresented students. We have already begun this process by reaching out to faculty at RCDS and coordinating current initiatives such as WISE/WISC so that student participation may be increased during the upcoming year. Our coordination and outreach efforts are informed by our research, which is well underway. We have interviewed Upper School students to learn how we can better support them, started a database of STEAM and inclusion related programs at RCDS, and communicated with peer schools to look at a variety of ways to increase participation.
This summer, we will introduce our project to parents along with resources that can help spark student interest in STEM fields. Our outreach to faculty, students, and parents will continue throughout the year, and we hope to build a positive awareness, environment, and approach for addressing the issues that our project is examining. By continuing the three-tiered and cyclical method of research, coordination, and outreach, we hope to change the persistent student perception that math and science are only for certain groups of people, involve more students, and therefore, create more leaders in the world of STEM.
- STEM/STEAM projects geared towards LS/MS students
- STEM/STEAM Kits
- Summer/Fall STEAM-related field trips, exhibits & museums to visit
Our top five STEM/STEAM blogs/websites filled with fun, hands-on activities, projects, and experiments.
- Left Brain Craft Brain - http://leftbraincraftbrain.com
We love this blog! It was created by Anne Carey, an MIT-educated chemical engineer turned stay-at-home mama who writes about crafty ways to encourage learning in our kids. STEAM projects are her favorite.
- Babble Dabble Co - http://babbledabbledo.com
This blog is filled with creative projects. It was created by Ana Dziengel, an architect, award winning furniture designer, and blogger. She’s now a professional crafter, amateur scientist, and art teacher to her three children.
- Steve Spangler Science - https://www.stevespanglerscience.com
Steve Spangler is a teacher, science toy designer, speaker, author and an Emmy award-winning television personality. Spangler is the founder of SteveSpanglerScience.com, a Denver-based company specializing in the creation of science toys, classroom science demonstrations, teacher resources and home for Spangler’s popular science experiment archive and video collection. Spangler is a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where he takes classroom science experiments to the extreme.
- Scientific American - https://www.scientificamerican.com/education/bring...
Every Thursday, you can find a new science activity to try in Scientific American’s Bring Science Home section. They offer a nice range of activities like generating electricity with a lemon battery and exploring friction by launching items.
- Make - http://makezine.com/category/science/
In Make’s science category, you can find more step-by-step projects to try at home. Its two subcategories, health and energy,offer a way to narrow down the specific projects available. You can find everything from how to build a generator bicycle to Lord Kelvin’s Thunderstorm on the website. You can also submit your own project to Make.
Here are seven options parents might be interested in when exploring the world of STEAM kits.
3 to 7
Kid Art Lit
5 to 8
9 to 16+
7 to 14
Spangler Science Club
6 to 14
8 to 11
7 to 13
New York Botanical Gardens - https://www.nybg.org
Artworks by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly are now on view at NYBG in his first major garden exhibition in New York in more than ten years.
Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum - https://www.intrepidmuseum.org
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of history, science and service as related to its home aboard the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark. As you explore the Museum you will be able to examine original artifacts, view historic video footage and explore interactive exhibits.
American Museum of Natural History - http://www.amnh.org
New York Hall of Science - https://nysci.org
Liberty Science Center - http://lsc.org
Bronx Zoo - https://bronxzoo.com
Storm King Art Center - http://stormking.org
Widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center has welcomed visitors from across the globe for more than fifty years. It is located only one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley, where its 500-acre landscape of fields, hills, and woodlands provides the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time.
Rye Nature Center - http://www.ryenaturecenter.org
Visit and walk the Turtle, Rabbit, Deer, Rock, Dragonfly, and Tree Trails. They also have a new Storybook Trail starting at the playground. You can download the digital edition of the map here.
Marshlands Conservancy Center - http://parks.westchestergov.com/marshlands-conserv...
Marshlands Conservancy is a 147-acre wildlife sanctuary composed of diverse habitats. Forest, meadow, salt marsh and shore can be explored and appreciated here. There are three miles of trails and one-half mile of shoreline along the Long Island Sound. County parks map & guide
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - https://www.maritimeaquarium.org
See how students from Connecticut – and from 18 countries around the world – used art to depict "teamwork" as The Maritime Aquarium hosts Creative Connections' annual "International Children's Art Exhibit." Countries represented include India, Guatemala, Gambia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Japan, Jordan, Uganda, Cyprus, Ireland, Nigeria and more.
Bruce Museum, Seaside Center - https://brucemuseum.org/site/about_us_detail/seasi...
Consistently voted the "Best Museum" by area media, the Bruce Museum is a regionally based, world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history in more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually. The permanent galleries feature the natural sciences that encompass regional to global perspectives.
Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center
Upper School Math Teacher
Middle School Computer Science Teacher
Upper School Science Teacher