Bringing Real-World Science to the Classroom

Students at Pike Central High School in Indiana recently used a combination of science, technology, engineering and math to invent a lightweight, portable disaster-relief shelter that costs less than $500 to produce and includes a water-and-air purification system and a renewable power source. A few months later, the students presented their invention to President Obama at the White House Science Fair.

Elsewhere, Oakland Unified School District in California is expanding its high school STEM curriculum and establishing STEM centers in its feeder middle schools. Such sustained effort over multiple years ensures that students are consistently exposed to the real-world application of STEM, including technologies used by innovative high-tech companies across the U.S.

The work at these schools is part of a growing initiative to get students more interested and involved in STEM. Using activity-, project- and problem-based learning to engage students in rigorous and relevant learning experiences is vital to generating their enthusiasm. Hands-on, real-world projects that require integration of STEM subjects help students develop useful skills and take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to everyday life. By engaging in applied learning – identifying problems, building prototypes and testing solutions – students develop critical skills in problem-solving, teamwork, time management, communication and leadership, which ensures college and career readiness for the STEM-enabled 21st century. Read More