Tapping into the STEM lives of local STEM people and students

What if we utilized the power of storytelling to inspire, empower, and tell the stories of the people (and students) engaged in STEM?

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What if we utilized the power of storytelling to inspire, empower, and tell the stories of the people (and students) engaged in STEM? 

Students might tell their own stories through text or movies. Local scientists/techies/mathematicians/engineers could tell their story. While this could be in person (like Michael Szczepanik's Breakfast with a Biologist), it could also be a virtual share as well (like Chris Goode suggested) so that we can all benefit from these stories.

This would potentially increase the role model base and help broaden the definition of what it means to be a scientist, mathematician, engineer, and someone involved with technology. Videos could be made and shared (and watched). 

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A Kids Cosmos

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Photo of Mark Carlucci

This makes me think of a skilled trades conference I attended in the spring. It was a half-day young women's conference with a focus on aboriginal students. I brought about 20 girls from my school.

A number of these girls don't really play attention in class, or avoid it all together. They are conditioned to filter out the same teacher preaching everyday about taking notes and doing homework. But when they were at the presentation they engaged 100%.

Local trades women were there talking about their professions, all my girls listened, asked probing questions and were excited to be there. Having content provided by people in the field provides more authenticity to why they are learning about it.

After attending the event 88% of all the young women in attendance said they were likely to investigate a career in the skilled trades. 

Some of the quote from the participants include:
-“I honestly thought I wanted to go to University up until today, I now want to take a mechanics
course because it seems like a pretty rewarding career.”

-“This event gave me more insight and made me more aware that girls can work in this field.”

-“They really explained what it looks like for a female in this occupation and it’s not as scary

-“The mentors told us about their jobs that I have never heard of that seemed very interesting.”

I think the more people we can bring it to share information with our students the better. I'm a teacher, I don't work in industry; I don't know what the "real world" is like outside of the classroom. Bring people in to share real experiences in with our students is the way to go. It adds to the authenticity.