New STEM Activity App Engages Students and Families

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All families want the best for their children. Yet with today’s busy lives, the best intentions are often compromised. Families want to engage with their child’s learning but are sometimes too busy or feel that they don’t know how. With a new STEM Activity App, the Wheelock College Aspire Institute presents an innovative method for families to learn together.

STEM Activity from 10/19: Design your own airplane. Begin with one sheet of paper. Launch as is and see what happens. Now fold it once and launch it again. Did it go further? Fold and trim the paper and see which designs glide the farthest. Why do you think some designs are better gliders than others? What's the farthest you can make your airplane go? - The Discovery Museums Photo from: thedailygreen.com
STEM Activity from 10/19: Design your own airplane. Begin with one sheet of paper. Launch as is and see what happens. Now fold it once and launch it again. Did it go further? Fold and trim the paper and see which designs glide the farthest. Why do you think some designs are better gliders than others? What’s the farthest you can make your airplane go? – The Discovery Museums
Photo from: thedailygreen.com

Barbara Joseph, Online Solutions Program Manager for Aspire Institute and two-time recipient of the Silvia Earl Innovation award, is behind this new initiative engaging families and students in grades 3, 4, and 5 around Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) topics. Launched on October 15th, Aspire’s STEM Activity App runs 10 weeks with 3 activities delivered via email every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. This STEM app involves families and their students in fun, easy activities within the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math with the goal of inspiring greater interest within these fields for the next generation.

The first piloted STEM Activity App was hosted by the Sarah Greenwood School in Dorchester and ended in May, 2013. After analyzing feedback from the first pilot and making the app more user-friendly, Joseph is testing the app in two other Boston schools: Sacred Heart School (Roslindale) and St. Columbkill Partnership School (Brighton). The STEM Activity App is also available for teachers to augment their teaching by providing activities that students can complete with peers. Some new app features include linking activities to STEM careers and experts, and encouraging students to reflect on the ways STEM connects with their everyday lives.

Joseph encourages anyone interested in participating in this web app to register. It took a community of people to create, design, and launch this app and Joseph hopes it will also create a way for communities to get involved with their children’s education.

“The STEM Activity App is about encouraging inquiry and wonder within students.” Joseph said. “Knowing the answers is not as important as fostering a passion to learn.”

 

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