SU Hosts STEM: The Future is Now Conference
In July, high school teachers, professors and students gathered to discuss ways in which science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can be integrated in classrooms in Central New York.
This year’s theme was “STEM: The Future is Now – Increasing Student Achievement Through Integration.” The Institute focused on methods to integrate STEM ideas and concepts into the classroom experience for high school students. Many students go through high school with little exposure to STEM subjects.
The challenge for the STEM Institute planning committee is getting people to understand that it aims to incorporate math, science, engineering and technology within the classroom, says Gwen Maturo-Grasso, NYS ELA Teacher and STEM Outreach Facilitator. The panel discussions incorporate all of these subjects.
STEM focuses on “in reach,” says Maturo-Grasso. It is all about applying the STEM subjects to solve real world problems in the classroom in every subject.
The New York State STEM Education Collaborative Summer Institute was held on July 8th. It is designed to give teachers the tools necessary to collaboratively bring multiple disciplines together in the classroom.
New York State teachers were joined by teachers from Pennsylvania and even Wisconsin who found the STEM Institute through a Google search. The institute took place at the Crowne Plaza in Syracuse, NY.
Maturo-Graso is already looking forward and planning for next year. She hopes to have someone from the education college on the planning table for the conference. This would bring more upper-level students and professors to the conference forming a generation of prepared teachers.
The push for STEM education is coming from the state level. Maturo-Grasso believes, though, that there is also a demand from employers for problem-solvers and creative thinkers. Exposure to STEM subjects allows students to approach problems in a new way and gives them valuable life skills.
Dr. Bharat K. Soni
Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Photos from the Event
by Amanda Smith
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