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?”
Twitter responses highlighted some of the quintessential elements of STEM education. Schools tweeted about using green screen technology, 3Dprinters, 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 its unique and student-centered approach to STEM, inspiring more retweets and likes than all others.
Numerous schools tweeted about how STEM was part of their school DNA. An 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!!”
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.”
An 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!”
Responses highlighted 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.”