Many decisions go into planning for the upcoming school year. For example, you might look for ways to increase collaboration as students work together towards a common goal. Or you might commit to bring in more opportunities for students to explore different careers — like a STEM program that supports critical and computational thinking.
Are you looking for a high-quality and fun experience for students heading back to school this year? If your students have shown an interest in computer science, or you are searching for a way to make sure your students are engaged this year, there are a few options to explore.
In this blog post, I’ll share how setting up a new STEM program is a fantastic way to engage more students. We’ll look at five reasons to try a STEM program this school year.
Setting Up a STEM Program
Regular readers of the blog might remember a feature from earlier this year on Brite. In a June blog post, I shared a bit about their platform and how they make it easy to launch a customizable program for students. If you haven’t seen it in action yet, here is a bit of background.
Brite is a platform that helps schools and districts create their own fully customizable online or in-person STEM Academy. You can decide what to include for your organization’s own program and customize the design elements and the content. In this video (embedded below and linked here), students share why coding is a topic they see value in learning.
5 Reasons To Try a STEM Program this Year
Although some students and families might request this type of program, others might not know that this type of option exists. So, if you are making a case for including a STEM program in your back-to-school plan, here is a list of five reasons to try a STEM program this year.
Top of your list for offering a STEM program this school year might include an opportunity to make career connections. In my new book, EdTech Essentials, I dedicate an entire chapter to this idea of transferable skills. STEM programs give students a chance to build skills that apply to many different careers. From critical thinking to decision making to collaboration with peers, students can develop and apply skills they’ll need in various occupations.
After School Learning
The programs students explore in an afterschool setting can connect to different ideas, including gaming. If you are looking for students to develop critical thinking skills alongside gamified experiences, a STEM program designed with Brite can address these goals. As you review your options for afterschool learning opportunities, a STEM program where students can work at their own pace (like the courses Brite offers) can address students’ individual needs. At the same time, it can bring students together for an afterschool program.
Connecting (or Reconnecting) Students
A STEM program can serve many different purposes, and one might be to keep students connected throughout the school year. For example, if students in your community participated in a summer camp experience, you could transition this program into a year-round program. In addition to keeping students connected through a program transition, one reason to try a STEM program this year is to reconnect students who might have participated in a distance learning experience last year. This type of program can bring groups of students together who might have spent the previous year learning far apart.
With Brite, you can design a program tailored to student interests. You can pick what is most interesting to your group from a catalog of different options. I love how Brite makes designing your own STEM program so customizable. For example, you might share a few options with students and express what grabs their attention. Alternatively, you might create an interest survey. You can ask students to respond to a series of questions. Their responses can help you determine the type of program you decide to build for the group.
More Reasons to Celebrate
Celebrations of students’ achievements can certainly take many forms, from a musical concert to a sporting event. STEM programs give students more opportunities to participate in an activity where their achievements are ready to celebrate. You might even find that a local news organization wants to celebrate student accomplishments, too. Here is an example the team at Brite shared with me that spotlights a student’s success with a coding program.
Ready to launch your own STEM program this year? Head over to Brite’s landing page to learn more about their offerings for schools and organizations. This page has all of the details about their offerings. You’ll also find steps to set up your own STEM program — one personalized to the needs of your students and community.