In just eleven years, the calendar year will be 2030! What will the job market look like for today’s students? Listed below are the top jobs in 2030.
- Software Engineer
- Automated & Robot System Repair
- Augmented Reality and Virtual World Creator
- Autonomous and Electrical Car Engineer
- Green Power Creator
- Technology Tutor and Trainer
- Drone Technician
- Space Exploration
- Future Farmer
- 3D Printing Engineer
- Data Manager
- Senior Wellness Manager
- Biotech Engineer
- Science Ethicist/Technology Advocate
- Chronocurrency Broker
- Digital Enforcer
- A.I. Trainer and Technician
- Climate Analyst and Weather Moderator
Those nineteen jobs are a mix of Science – Technology – Engineering – Mathematics. The best way to prepare our students for the future is to make sure they have a strong foundation in STEM and future-ready skills. Teachers need to embed the following skills into their daily curriculum: creativity and innovation, critical thinking, and problem solving. Communication and collaboration are also essential. Read on for tips to make your STEM action plan.
STEM/STEAM Action Plan
I asked Kathy Sleeper, STEM Lab teacher at Bullard Elementary School, the following question: What do teachers need to know in order to prepare for a STEAM-centered year? Here are the ten essential questions you need to answer:
- How many students will I serve?
- What type of setting will I have available?
- What is the purpose or the focus of the lab?
- Tied to the curriculum
- A creative area with a work-on-your-own feel
- Exploration of new technology
- Follow the Engineering Design process
- How will I store supplies?
- How will the management of materials work?
- Easy access to students
- The teacher sets out equipment
- How will I secure funding for materials?
- Donations by parents, churches, etc.
- Dollar Store or Target dollar area
- Garage sales
- PTA or school funds
- How will students receive directions?
- Sit on a rug to get the information
- Station or center instructional cards
- Student helpers
- If my setting is centers or stations, how will I address?
- How many students at each station
- How will students rotate in and out of stations
- Length of rotations
- Clean up
- How will failures be handled? (Take into account students will have a hard time switching between “mistakes are counted against you” to “mistakes are ways to learn, redesign and try again.”)
- Where and when will I keep tools charged?
Back to School STEM/STEAM Resources
- Cue Cards for STEAM and Makerspaces – 56 design prompts for engineering, technology, the arts and wearables/textiles. These cards do not provide detailed instructions for the projects. Each card is focused on students designing their own solutions.
- LEGO Building Cards – 48 building cards with LEGO bricks or can be used with any building materials.
- Silent Jenga – An inexpensive and quiet on the ears alternative to the original Jenga game. I found this on Facebook by Teach it DIY, and a post mentioned friction would make this impossible. But building block out of sponges – genius!
- Three Stem Ideas to Grow On – Miguel Guhlin’s blog entry offers some options and resources you can use to grow your STEM program.
- The Helping Harriet STEAM Challenge – October ramps up the time to check out the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam where you and your students can watch a pair of bald eagles lay their eggs and raise their eaglets. Try out this STEAM Challenge to go along with the live animal webcam.
- STEAM Learning with the Paper Chain Challenge – Fantastic group challenge with minimum supplies: construction paper, glue stick, and scissors.
- Fall STEM Activities and Science Experiments – Little Bins and Little Hands brings a plethora of cool seasonal fall activities which includes themes such as apples, pumpkins, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.
- Back to School With STEM – Check out more fantastic resources to pack STEM learning in the new school year.
How to be an Inventor by Kid President – By Soul Pancake (4:59) Kid President visits GE Aviation and shares his own inspiration to finish his own project. He wants to help his cat come to terms with a vacuum cleaner.
11 Kid Inventors Break Down Their Greatest Inventions – By the New Yorker (11:30) Students between the ages of six and twelve tell their invention story. Each kid offers advice at the 2017 National Invention Convention on solving real-world problems. Inventions include: Blackberry Picker, Storibot, and the ChemotheraPop.
Boy gets Prosthetic Hand Made by 3-D Printer – By CBS Evening News (2:55) The story of a father, Paul McCarthy, began searching for an inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands. McCarthy came across a video online with detailed instruction on how to use a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for his son. This is a great story that intertwines STEM and collaboration across the world.
Whatever your STEM/STEAM program shapes up to be, always remember to build habits of mind:
- Be not afraid of failing – treat every failure as another opportunity to learn
- Encourage creativity
- Debrief and reflect on every activity