Get Inspired by how STEM is Becoming a Shared Endeavor!

STEM is now in the spotlight, encouraging educators, policy makers, and community members to come together to design meaningful experiences.

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The STEMspiration I want to share is the convergence of multiple groups, with varied goals and opinions, coming together with the goal of developing authentic and meaningful STEM learning experiences. Jumping on Twitter it's becoming hard not to run into a STEM hashtag and that's across multiple chats, even ones focused on design, literacy, and other (seemingly) non-"STEM" disciplines. Likewise, searching for news articles, blog posts, grants, and school initiatives, STEM in education is all over the place. Do a quick Google search and you'll find hours of content to sift through. 

What really inspires me about this is that I believe cultivating curiosity and problem-solving in our students through active and authentic STEM learning requires a collective, team effort and I think that collaborative work is starting to happen! This current Teachers Guild challenge is just one more sign that it's not so much about the maker/innovation/fab spaces, the high and low-tech tools, the drones and wearables, or even the critical STEM content but about bringing people together to empathetically understand the wide variety of needs related to providing active and authentic STEM experiences to all students (and teachers). Working together, bringing bold ideas and a human-centered lens, having a bias-towards-action and diving head first into prototyping, I think we will hit on the many solutions required to "cultivate curiosity and problem-solving in our students through active and authentic STEM" and that's what STEMspires me!  

My question is, how might we use our collective minds, experiences, and resources to tackle this problem and find ways to continue sharing, learning, and working together to make STEM a sustainable thread in students' learning?

Image Credit: http://innovation.ed.gov/2015/11/19/communities-come-together-to-support-stem-education/

[Optional] Synthesize a little! In one sentence, describe something you learned from your empathy exercises or analogous research.

The growing interest in and shared activity around STEM is all the inspiration we need to tackle this problem because coming together is the most powerful way of designing and problem-solving.

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Photo of Erin

I could not agree more that it's all about the collaboration, connections, and relationships. I helped organize a design thinking summer PD institute called Design the Shift this summer (which I wrote about here: https://medium.com/@luckybydesign/at-the-confluence-724f95188bd3) and one of my biggest insights was that the most inspirational situations that sparked the most ideas for our participants were the moments when they were radically collaborating with people outside of the field of education.

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