Introduction to STEM
Adventures in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) & Virtual Worlds
Why is the sky blue?
Why can’t you see the wind?
How big is the universe?
These are some of our earliest questions about STEM studies. We all are born curious. The important question is, why do so many of us stop asking questions?
Who needs STEM? Everyone, so don’t be STEM-phobic.
The more we learn about the world and how it works, the more confident we feel. We become less afraid because what scares us most is the unknown. STEM knowledge equals empowerment. Without STEM our world shrinks, society stops, civilization crumbles. Don’t think so, try the STEM test at least in your imagination.
Test your STEM usage. If you don’t think STEM is vital, try to go one day without using…
- Science - Science was born the day we first used fire. What can you do that doesn’t require heat, power or light? What do you have that wasn’t created using any science?
- Technology – Unless you’re a nude, survivalist and gatherer of nuts and berries, you couldn’t put aside all the technology we take for granted: tools, clothes, culture even for one day.
- Engineering - Humans cannot survive (let alone progress) in a world that we cannot transform. Unlike the creatures of the wild; we are builders and inventors. How long can you go without creating or building something or thinking about it?
- Math – This is the secret code of humans that brings everything together. Math makes sense of the world around us and allows us to communicate with any math-aware being (here on earth or somewhere in a galaxy far, far away).
STEM Can Be Fun and Exciting. Start Doing Valuable Scientific Research Today
Many organizations need your help as an amateur researcher, scientist, math fan, or computer geek (geek being a good thing in this sense). Think about joining existing research efforts like those offered by
- NASA Quest Challenges are Web-based, interactive explorations designed to engage students in authentic scientific and engineering processes. The solutions relate to issues encountered daily by NASA personnel. Why not take the challenge?
- SciStarter is a site to bring amateur and citizen scientists together with programs that need their help. This is a fun site for all ages and interests.
- Dynamic Pattern Research, an independent citizen science and amateur research program,
- CEISMC (Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing) at the Georgia Institute of Technology,
- AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) to work as an amateur astronomer with real scientists
- and many others all over the world. Use your Internet searching skills to find a program that matches your STEM ideas. (Be sure to check them out with BreakThru or other adults before joining any group or organization found on the Internet).
If you don’t think STEM is fun, then you don’t know enough about it. Bring enthusiasm and see how much exciting STEM can really be from researching bumble bees in your back yard to identifying new stars. Read what some children discovered. Read what English school children accomplished.
Schoolkids' Bee Study Lands in Prestigious Journal
“A group of elementary schoolchildren in Devon, England recently made a study on how bees identify colors that is, well, groundbreaking. They may be kids, but for the editors of 'Biology Letters', their research was anything but child's play -- in fact, it's being hailed as "a genuine advance in the field" -- so much so, the prestigious journal has decided to publish it.” - Treehugger, a Discovery Company by Stephen Messenger, Porto Alegre, Brazil