What is STEM? Why is it important?

June 25, 2017

By Les Conklin

Some of my grandchildren live in Colorado and others live here in Arizona. Some are in middle school, some high school and others are college students. They all know what STEM is. Their teachers, professors and school administrators all know what STEM is. How about you? If you would like to learn more about STEM, the website at the bottom of this article has an excellent introductory piece on the subject.

I’ll confess that up until 2 ½ years ago, when I became a volunteer tour guide at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), STEM and its importance to education was not on my radar screen. That has changed.

The MIM offers a suite of student tours, based on student age and curricula that schools and school districts can choose from. One of the most popular tours is the STEM + MUSIC Guided Field Trip. It’s recommended for grades 3-8 and is designed to support science, math, and English language-Arts. Here is a brief description from the MIM website. “Students explore the physics of sound production and how musical instruments can be classified. Students look inside a piano and observe MIM’s giant octobasse, which plays notes that are not audible to human ears! Participating in a drum circle and playing instruments in the Experience Gallery, such as the electronic theremin, help reinforce concepts of vibration and sound waves.”

This very popular tour has evolved over the years based on input from educators, students, tour guides, musicians and museum staff. This summer the museum is incorporating many of these ideas into specific STEM supporting exhibits that will be available in the fall. Let’s face it, innovation is essential to keeping pace in science, technology, engineering, mathematics AND in providing enjoyable, stimulating, educational tours for kids. By the way, if you are an educator or school administrator, July is Educator Appreciation Month at MIM.

Recently, Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale announced the delivery of a pilot STEM program, STEM in the Desert, that was developed with Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and Scottsdale Community College. If you live in Scottsdale and have an interest in the DDC then it’s probably worth your time to learn more about STEM.

If you are young, the incentive is even greater. Jobs requiring a science, technology, engineering, or math-related degree account for more than 10 percent of jobs in our country. Many of these jobs pay wages close to double the U.S. average, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jul 3, 2014. Don’t be left behind.

Engineering for Kids – Importance of STEM

Related Articles & Website

Engineering for Kids Website & Article, http://engineeringforkids.com/article/02-02-2016_importanceofstem

Desert Discovery Center STEM Educational Program Announced

Educators: You’ll Really be Appreciated at the MIM in July 

Author: The Peak

Published on behalf of the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association by the editorial staff.

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