Schools from across the country competed on Twitter to win a 3D Printer by answering one of two questions: “What does STEM looks like at your school?” and “Why is teaching about STEM careers important?” The answers schools provided are a window into the soul of STEM education. Twitter responses highlighted some of the quintessential elements of STEM education. Schools tweeted about using green screen technology, 3D printers, Arduino, drones and much more as they competed to win a 3D printer from Chattanooga-based Learning Blade, an online middle school STEM program that highlights the connection between STEM Careers and core academics, who sponsored the contest.
Winners of the 3D Printers were:
Graham Middle School in St. Paris, Ohio was a winner for their collective response on Twitter. The school principal, assistant principal, teachers and parents all weighed in on #STEM at their school.
Sonora Middle School in Springdale, Arkansas was a winner for inspiring STEM narrative. The school demonstrated through various tweets it’s unique and student-centered approach to STEM, inspiring more retweets and likes than all others.
“What does STEM looks like at your school?”
Numerous schools tweeted about how STEM was part of their school DNA. A perfect example is how Star City Middle School in Arkansas tweeted “STEM is a part of who we are and what we do every day at Star City Middle School, not in addition to what we do.” New York educator Kristie Wikane tweeted “STEM is growing in our schools! Always evolving!!”
StarCityMiddleSchool @scmiddleschool Sep 1
Replying to @LearningBlade @StarCityGT
STEM is a part of who we are and what we do every day @scmiddleschool, not in addition to what we do. With @LearningBlade, #possibilities
Kristie Wikane @fishgrrl Sep 1
Replying to @LearningBlade
STEM is growing in our schools! Always evolving!! @NYS21stCCLCRC #3DContest @LearningBlade
Another popular theme focused on how STEM helps put the student at the center of the learning experience. Teacher Caleb Bullock noted that STEM at Indian Lake School in Tennessee “Students are engaged, challenged, and directing their own learning.”
Caleb Bullock @CalebLeeBullock Sep 5
STEM looks fun at #IndianLake. Students are engaged, challenged, and directing their own learning. @LearningBlade #3DContest
A perfect example of how STEM is inspiring students to solve innovating real world challenges is seen in the tweet from winning school Sonora Middle School in Arkansas highlights how students engineered and then #3dPrinted a fitting for a wheelchair to hold a guitar for a disabled veteran. Critical thinking is a fundamental component of any STEM class tweets Kara Van Fossen, “STEM is creating opportunities for our students to think critically and getting them future ready!”.
EAST at SMS ?? @EASTatSMS Sep 1
@LearningBlade We engineered & #3Dprinted a fitting for a wheelchair that holds a guitar for a disabled veteran @SMSpartans #3DContest
Kara Van Fossen @misskvf2 Sep 3
@LearningBlade STEM is creating opportunities for our students to think critically and getting them future ready! #3Dcontest #win
Why is teaching about STEM careers important?”
Responses highlight the importance STEM teachers put on including career awareness in middle school instruction. New York 21st Century Learning Center tweeted “teaching students about STEM careers through early exposure- creates high expectations!” Vine Middle Magnet School in Tennessee tweeted, “We teach STEM careers because kids can't dream and plan for careers they don't even know exist!” Winner Graham Middle School’s Chad Lensman, tweeted “students need exposure to STEM careers to identity the why and provide focus. Growth of STEM jobs is not matched by grads!” Lisa Bowman, teacher at Graham middle school tweeted, “Omitting STEM career Ed equals excluding kids from the rapidly evolving job market and limits their chances for prosperity.”
RoS Resource Center @NYS21stCCLCRC Sep 1
Replying to @LearningBlade teaching Ss about #STEM careers/early exposure- creates high expectations! #3DContest @LearningBlade #AfterschoolWorks @NYS21stCCLCRC
Vine Middle Magnet @VineMSKnox Sep 1
Vine Middle Magnet Retweeted Learning Blade
Q2 - We teach STEM careers because kids can't dream and plan for careers they don't even know exist! #3DContest @LearningBlade
Chad Lensman @ChadLensman Sep 2
Chad Lensman Retweeted Learning Blade
@LearningBlade Q2: Ss need exposure to STEM careers to identity the why and provide focus. Growth of STEM jobs is not matched by grads!
Lisa Bowman @lisaannbowman Sep 4
Replying to @LearningBlade
Q2:STEM career Ed equals excluding kids from the rapidly evolving job market and limits their chances for prosperity. #win
ABOUT Learning Blade®
Learning Blade®, owned and operated by Thinking Media, creators of ACT’s KeyTrain® for WorkKeys, is designed to provide engaging resources that will expose students to STEM related career opportunities and help them develop key skills as they move forward. This innovative approach to STEM education focuses on activities that can be utilized both in a self-paced game environment and as practice in academic classrooms. Partnered with Ohio Small and Rural Collaborative and supported by Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) in Ohio.