Why STEM, why STEM Harvest, why now?
Why is STEM important?
By now, most everyone is familiar with STEM, the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The reality though, is not everyone understands the importance of introducing children to STEM at a young age. Our goal with starting STEM Harvest is to provide a space where our community can join together and participate in hands-on learning projects that can be applied in the real world. This “space” will provide children with a variety of new skills, strengthen their cognitive skills, improve their creativity, and inspire a passion for innovation!
Almost all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the
next decade will require some background in STEM.
STEM projects encourage children to problem solve, troubleshoot, and use critical thinking skills. It can also enhance decision making and boost curiosity. Hands-on learning will spark “why” and “how” questions, promoting innovation and discovery. As children “grow” into their new skills, they can use their imagination and develop their own solutions to problems. STEM also enhances entrepreneurship and teaches children how to learn from failure. The skills that children will take away from STEM Harvest will open their minds to the endless possibilities in STEM-based careers. Even if a STEM career isn’t in their future, their path will be enriched through knowledge of STEM and they will learn to never be scared of new technologies!
In the next decade, there will be about 1 million more US jobs in the tech
sector than computer science graduates to fill them—and just 25% of our
nation’s high schools offer computer science classes.
Photo of Brad Montague, creator of Kid President
Why STEM Harvest?
STEM Harvest will offer the community a chance to learn programming/coding, 3D printing, prototyping, electronics, and an endless numbers of other hands-on skills through project-based learning. Using step-by-step resources to start out, children can learn the fundamentals before moving onto bigger, better projects. The best part is that a majority of the learning is self-paced, i.e. while one project may be done in a matter of days, another may take weeks. By offering multi-step projects, children learn time management and how to break larger projects into smaller steps for completion. In addition, different projects can be group-based, encouraging children to work with others, participate in active listening, and develop both giving and receiving constructive feedback.
With STEM Harvest in our community, we can offer more technology-based learning where the end result isn’t passing a test. We can provide a safe space for children to come and learn after school and through the summer. All the while, we can ensure children of all genders, races, education levels and economic backgrounds have equal opportunities to learn and develop new skills to set them up for future success in whatever career they choose!
Photo of 6 year old with a Christmas tree kit project