Step 1: Identify Purpose & Curriculum
The first step to starting a STEM program at your school is establishing why this STEM program exists and what you’re hoping to achieve with the STEM program. Consider this your mission statement that will guide the future steps you’ll be taking to form this program.
You also need to establish the curriculum that will be taught and emphasized through this STEM program. This will guide your purchasing decisions when it comes to software, STEM kits, conferences, etc. It will also help you form a plan of what your faculty will need to be trained on to lead this program.
Take Note! Use https://www.pltw.org/ to download some STEM curriculum learning standards based on whether your students are in Pre-5, Middle school, High school engineering, High school computer science, or High school biomedical science.
Step 2: Budget & Resources
Next, you need to set a budget for your program. Once the budget is determined you can investigate what resources you can afford. There are plenty of different STEM resources available for all kinds of budgets.
Below are some resource ideas to get you thinking about what resources you can use in your STEM program.
Step 3: Location & Platforms
Club Room - Create a space inside your school for after-school STEM club activities. As your STEM program becomes larger you can start to implement STEM learning in most classrooms.
Go Virtual - Consider creating a virtual space to meet and teach STEM. You could also implement virtual learning experiences. For example, Code Academy is a great virtual resource for students to engage with STEM and learn to code.
Take it Outside - Scale your STEM program by involving the community. For example, engineers at solar4STEM has a program where their engineers tutor students in STEM subjects. Try to involve businesses and parents to in your STEM program. An apprenticeship would be an amazing benefit to your students. Field Trips are also a fun way to take the learning outside the classroom!
Show Off Your Hard Work!
Give your students the chance to show off their new knowledge and skills with competitions and exhibits.
Successful STEM Programs You Can Model Yours After
Check out this LittleBits whitepaper detailing successful STEM programs
More examples of successful STEM program
The solar4STEM kit is a tool that reduces the hassle of prep work, provides enough materials for a collaborative and innovative setting, and provides lesson plans that not only outline experiments, but offers exploration and alternatives to learn your way.
Let us help you bring the wonders of a science classroom into your school!
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