Recently I have begun to understand the importance of “reaching out” to parents and students about STEM activities. I had decided to start a “little” newsletter each month, hopefully each month. I sent the newsletter to all my parents and students. When I mean “little”, I mean brief articles and notification about STEM events. Well.. it turned out to be a good idea. I received a good deal of positive feedback from everyone. Our first event, was the Reedy Creek Astronomy Lab Open house with the Astrophysics department with NC State. Only a few showed up, but they enjoyed it. This has spurred me to think of new ideas for the newsletter and also maybe hosting a Starry Night event next year at our school. I’m hoping to get other teachers involved to help with different components of the night.
This made me realize how important it is to help students get involve in STEM activities outside of class. That is why “we” (I put we in quotes because other science department teachers are helping), are starting a Science Club. I’m actually still toying with the idea to change it to STEM Club, I think students who are not science orientated would be more inclined to get involved. The purpose is to get students more involved with STEM topics.
As of today I have students who are going to help work on NASA experiments and do some LEGO mindstorms. Other teachers have offered to help and even coordinate events together. I have the Biology teacher actually helping with the NASA NES lesson on UV radiation. Students are also working on building a solar tracker with LEGO mindstorms. The Solar Tracker is part of the STEM 2 Vernier lab book.
I’m hoping this will become more popular with my students as time goes on. I’m actually excited about my next newsletter… go figure.