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STEM helps Wyoming students learn to think on their own
Anderson said STEM programs provide students with hands on projects that combine academic subjects. Students see the big picture when they see how subjects such as math and science work together, she added.
"It translates well, no matter what kind of a career you're going into," said Jennifer Anderson, a Career Technical Education Program consultant with the Wyoming Department of Education. "If you're a critical thinker and you can solve problems, then you're going to be successful at whatever you do in the future, whether it's jump straight into a career or straight into college."
Jackson Hole High is certified in the STEM curriculum it uses, called Project Lead the Way. The school gradually grew its STEM program starting with engineering classes about eight years ago, Crisp said. Two years ago, the school robotics team and a partnership with NASA started.
In Introduction to Engineering class late last month, students worked on their final project. Garrett Nickell and Theo Dawson drew a desk organizer on graph paper. They had two weeks to turn their best idea into a product to present to the class and demonstrate it with software that tested and displayed items in three dimensions.
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"If it doesn't work, it's our fault," Nickell said. "It's getting us ready for NASA."
Dawson toured the school last year when he was in eighth grade.
When Principal Scott Crisp walks into a STEM class, he sees students performing tasks that require engineering and math and interpreting text at a high level. He also sees students collaborating with each other and a teacher not just giving information, but being part of the process of students solving problems on their own.
STEM is about all of those things, not merely the four subjects in the acronym, Crisp said.
People sometimes think STEM classes and activities are just for the best math and science students, but they're for all students, Anderson said.
Jackson Hole High School is at the forefront of STEM integration in Wyoming.
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"I just thought it was super cool, so I decided to take the class," Dawson said. He most likes being able to "get into our work and apply it rather than just learn about it. So when we learn about how to assemble things in a program, we actually get to do it. When we learn about design functions and design processes, we get to go to it instead of just learn about it."We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of Reebok Furylite Floral Print Casual Shoes
Interest in science, technology, engineering, math programs is growing statewide and nationally to better prepare students for college and careers.
Crisp anticipates that 80 Saucony Excursion Tr7 to 90 students will take engineering classes next school year, about 30 will participate in robotics and more than 80 will use the new digital fabrication lab.
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The program also requires students to assume defined roles and follow a process that works toward a common goal not unlike work in the professional world. For instance, one student might build and track an agenda to make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to be doing, while another might be in charge of bringing Reebok Red White Blue Shoes
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Teacher Gary Duquette said some observers are shocked that several members of the Jackson Hole High School Robotics team aren't straight A students. However, robotics attracts many hands on learners who don't always perform as well in a typical classroom, he said. His theory is they learn how to do the engineering and then learn why it works afterward. For many of them, it makes more sense that way, he said.
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