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June 25, 2012 AT 12:00 pm

Food for Thought: Teach the Teachers STEM, Then the Students

Working as a Defense Engineer has its drawbacks, but it also has its advantages. By far the best advantage is the opportunity to participate in Education Outreach programs. My Navy base in Panama City, FL along with Florida State University PC have worked together to put on the FSU STEM Camp every summer for three years now. This is my first year participating and I was blown away.

One major goal of the camp is to teach STEM to the teachers as well as the students. The first week of camp is nothing but teachers working with engineers. Throughout that week I got to teach 35 teachers to solder, identify basic electronic parts and to build circuits on breadboards. None of these Elementary, Middle and High School teachers had every done any of that before. Some of these teachers were driving 1-2 hours every day to attend this camp from rural counties with no STEM programs at all. Suddenly I found myself in a fury of excited teachers begging me to help them setup STEM programs at their schools. Many asked where they could buy soldering stations and other supplies. I think their reaction to the hands on activities in the camp was greater then the students the following week. Don’t believe me? See for yourself…

I can only imagine the greater impact this will have compared to just teaching STEM to 35 students. Now these teachers are excited and ready to bring more STEM into the classroom. If you every find yourself with the opportunity to educate some teachers, I would fully recommend it. Who knows how many students that could affect down the road.

Curious about what the teachers were building and soldering? Here’s a hint.

 


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