Before this summer, I was not at all familiar with the term STEM, or its relationship to every child’s education both inside and outside of the classroom. More importantly, I did not fully realize the level which parent engagement is essential to children’s learning success. Not only does parent engagement support academic gains, increase motivation, and reduce behavioral issues, it also excites children about learning and a future in STEM careers. I know that my love of reading and writing grew from my parents’ love of both of those things.
So how can we help families excite their children about learning, and especially STEM? This is the question the STEM Activity App was designed to answer. The STEM Activity App is a free, open-source tool created by the Wheelock College Aspire Institute (“Aspire”) three years ago that provides families and teachers with the resources they need to help integrate STEM education into their everyday lives. This summer Aspire launched a 6 week program which started on July 8th. Every week we release two wonderful activities. Since re-launching the project, more than 200 new users have signed up for the App, giving us almost 3000 users. Users span all grade levels and all 50 states, and 12 countries. Our twitter following and emails have spiked as well. The feedback has been overwhelming: the STEM Activity App is being put to good use and in demand!
Have a great summer – and for those using the STEM Activity App – Happy Exploring!
Emma Turi is a New Sector Summer Fellow serving with Learning Solutions at the Wheelock College Aspire Institute.