Growing focus on maker mindsets in STEM
- The National Week of Making is set to take place June 17 through June 23, and teachers can utilize a growing number of federal resources to incorporate making and STEM in the classroom.
- The White House has generated $240 million in new private-sector commitments to support STEM learning initiatives, as defined by a White House factsheet on the subject, and the U.S. Department of Education is launching a $25 million grant competition to support the creation of science and literacy-themed media to inspire low-income children.
- STEM learning can become more engaging to students through the use of a maker mindset, with more individualized learning and autonomous experimentation leading to organic discoveries.
The National Maker Faire will also take place June 18-19 in the District of Columbia, coinciding with The National Week of Making. For his part, President Barack Obama has played with the idea of creating a kid's science advisory panel consisting of children. “We should have a kid’s advisory group that starts explaining to us what’s interesting to them and what’s working, and could help us shape advances in STEM education,” Obama said after last month's White House Science Fair.
The White House subsequently created a web page, which launched this week, that allows students to share thoughts on STEM education, including what they think does and doesn't work. Nationwide, a push for young learners to engage in STEM and computer science learning appears to be gaining steam.
"We believe the best way to prepare children for success is to introduce them to the engineering design skills that will give them experience solving problems," according to a U.S. News and World Report op-ed by STEM advocates Ayeola Boothe Kinlaw of 100Kin10, Ioannis Miaoulis of Boston’s Museum of Science, and Ruthie ChenOusley of Teach for America. "Engineering is the missing link, making math and science relevant and sparking a process that can lead to innovation."