Teenagers can make for difficult students. They might show up for class, but that doesn’t mean they will participate--or even stay awake! As the old saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink." Does not matter that the horse needs water to get through the day or that the teenager needs the skills taught by science,technology, engineering and math to get a job when he leaves high school. Sweet reason won’t get either to do what is best for them. An old cowboy once said that it took a 2x4 across the head to get cooperation from the horse. That sounds a bit harsh and might lead to problems with PETA and the SPCA. The same method with teenagers would get a teacher 20 years in the pen! But after trying reason and violence, what’s left?
Simple! TECHNOLOGY is the answer to the question posed by the preceding paragraph. STEM teachers are no longer restricted to lectures, boring books or trips to the blackboard. They can count on great learning-software like Scratch, new technological paradigms like the 3D printer and engaging, interesting teaching tools like the RobotsLAB BOX.
Learning computer code has become a crucial part of STEM learning. One inexpensive way every school district can get kids involved in code is through the online community and programming language called Scratch. How inexpensive? How does free sound? This site enables kids to learn an intuitive programming language that allows them to create interactive stories, games, and computer animations.
3D printers are industrial and educational revolution of our time. Commercial enterprises can create products and parts on the spot. No need to send a request to Chinese factories or tool-and-die makers that might take months to fill. Students can use them to build and test actual products that interest and engage them. They will learn about collaboration and problem solving. 3D printers are not free but even at several thousand dollars they are less expensive than most teaching materials guaranteed to keep students interested.
The RobotsLAB BOX is one of a number of innovative teaching aids that use robots to keep the kids awake in math class. It’s no secret that kids love robots. The RobotsLAB BOX uses robots to demonstrate math in action rather than on paper.
Keep those teenagers awake and participating in class with technology. Forget about trying to convince them of the importance of the STEM skills. Instead show them what can be done with them using Scratch, 3D printers or robots.