The STEM Activity App
Follow this link to register for the STEM Activity App. The next free program begins on March 24, 2014.
The STEM Activity App provides engaging, family-friendly activities in science, technology, engineering and math.
This free app is designed to foster positive STEM-related interactions between students and their families. Ultimately, we believe this supportive family influence will increase student interest in STEM fields. Encouraging parent engagement in STEM activities holds the promise of inspiring the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, engineers and technologists.
Research overwhelmingly demonstrates that parent involvement in children's learning is positively related to academic success. In fact, three out of four college students in STEM majors report that a parent was influential in their decision to pursue STEM professionally. Unfortunately, appreciation for how families can promote learning is largely missing from the national focus on STEM education.
March Project Update: Seeking School Partners!
We are recruiting school and classroom partners for a March program re-launch. In our next iteration of the Stem Activity App, teachers will introduce weekly STEM Challenges as take-home assignments. Students then engage with their families to complete the activities and submit results. Back in the classroom, students can share their experiences and discoveries with their peers. Please contact Barbara Joseph, Learning Solutions Program Manager, if you are interested in learning more about using the app in your classroom.
The Aspire Institute received two Sylvia Earl Innovation Awards to develop and pilot the STEM activity web application. Almost 400 users from across the country participated in our most recent program pilot. Teachers use the exercises to engage their classrooms in hands-on, exploratory learning, and families commented daily on their experiences and discoveries.
Pilot participants received three STEM Activities by email each week and submitted responses on the STEM Activity App Website which contains additional information and engagement opportunities.
For the next iteration of the STEM Activity App, we are designing a native app for smartphones and tablets as well as upgrading the current website—stay tuned!
Examples of Activities Featured in the App:
1. Design your own airplane. Begin with one sheet of paper. Launch as is and see what happens. Now fold it once and launch it again. Did it go further? Fold and trim the paper and see which designs glide the farthest. Why do you think some designs are better gliders than others? What's the farthest you can make your airplane go? - The Discovery Museums
2. How long does it take your heart to beat 100 times? Find your pulse and count out 100 heartbeats while timing yourself. Have a family member do the same. Does it take the same amount of time for both of you to reach 100 heartbeats? Why or why not? Knowing how long it takes your heart to beat 100 times, figure out how long it would take for it to beat 1000 times.
3. How long can you keep an ice cube from melting in your warm kitchen? Try using paper, plastic, or foam cups to hold the ice cube. You can also try wrapping the cups in foil, newspaper, or bubble wrap. Which material or combination of materials do you think will make the best insulators? That is, which material do you think will keep the ice from melting the longest? Make a prediction before you begin! - The Discovery Museums
To learn more about the STEM Activity App, please contact Barbara Joseph, Learning Solutions Program Manager, at email@example.com or 617-879-2194.
Photo Credits: Banner image of students in garden from USDOE's flicker feed and image of boy with STEM activity courtesy of RDECOM's flickr feed. Both images used under Creative Commons attribution license.