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STEM News Roundup: Program Provides Thousands of Students with Hands-On STEM Learning Experiences

STEM News Roundup: Program Provides Thousands of Students with Hands-On STEM Learning Experiences

Unfortunately for students nationwide, the playing field for STEM education is not leveled. There are plenty of schools that remain underserved. Thanks to Google's Field Trip Days program, over 9,000 students and teachers from these schools had the opportunity to visit the Tech Museum of Innovation. Visitors of the museum can learn about and explore the applied technologies transforming their world.

"This may be the only opportunity these students have to engage with science and engineering outside of the classroom. At The Tech, they will experience their creative power to use technology to solve problems, and this might change not only their self-concept but their life's trajectory. We're grateful for the support of Silicon Valley tech giants like Google to make these days possible," said Tim Ritchie, president and CEO of The Tech, according to Yahoo Finance.

It's more than just a lecture on the importance of STEM for this gathering of students. They are given the opportunity to create, using the latest technology and tools. From lab equipment to robotics software, students who are not normally immersed in a STEM heavy curriculum can take full advantage of the opportunities these programs provide.

Learn more about the event here.

MIT Graduates Create A Groundbreaking Device Giving The Blind More Access To STEM Materials

With high dropout rates in math and science courses by blind students, Pranay Jain and Anshul Singhal sought out a way to ensure that these students stay motivated and feel included. An astonishing 75 percent of the blind or low-visioned (BLV) community is unemployed, according to MIT News. So, in an effort to reverse this alarming trend, Jain and Singhal have developed what they call the Tactile Caliper which is a more user-friendly version of the Braille ruler. The instrument helps BLV students take measurements more accurately and efficiently and, as a result, will provide vision-impaired students better access to STEM materials.

"Their first instrument aims to make geometry’s continuous shapes and lengths measurable with a plastic sliding caliper that enables BLV students to read measurements in Braille, as one would on a regular ruler," according to the article. 

The device has received positive feedback from users and was awarded the Louis Braille Touch of Genius Prize for Innovation for advancing Braille literacy.

Read the full story.

Grant Brings Computer Science Classes To Middle School Students

Three million dollars in grant money has the potential to bring middle school students access to computer science courses. Thanks to a partnership between Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and Verizon, the grant will help support select schools looking to offer their students courses in computer science, robotics, engineering and more.

"We are living in a thriving digital economy that will continue to grow, and many jobs of the future will be rooted in science, technology, engineering and math," says Justina Nixon-Saintil, education director for the Verizon Foundation, that is partnering with PLTW to help spread access nationwide. 

Yet another week in STEM finds companies coming together to bridge gaps that students nationwide are facing with technological access.

You can learn more about PLTW and the impact they have been having here.

VR-Equipped Mars Bus To Help Students Explore The Red Planet

The Lockheed Martin Mars Experience Bus will hit multiple locations in Orlando, providing students with an opportunity to virtually explore the red planet. The planet's landscape displays on the bus's windows as the vehicle moves, simulating the experience of driving on the planet's surface. 

Furthermore, there are also STEM-based curriculum tools that can help aid teachers in the classroom. Again, this experience and technology is created with the intention of sparking the interest of young minds to look at future careers in STEM. 

Read the full story.

 

Compiled by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor.

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