In case you were wondering just why STEM education is so important, here are some numbers to consider: last year, there were more than half a million high-paying tech jobs across the United States that were unfilled. By 2018, the U.S. government expects there will be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs. Accordingly, 21st Century educators face an extraordinary challenge. Not only do they need to find new and better ways to spark students’ interest in STEM, but they must also ensure that girls are buying in, as well.
Level Up Village was proud to participate in the National Coalition of Girls Schools’ 2016 Global Forum in New York City from February 7-9. LUV Co-Founder Neesha Rahim spoke on a panel about the terrific global 3D printing collaboration that took place between St. Joseph’s and Ekalayva School in Bangalore in the fall of 2015 as part of LUV’s Global Inventors course.
Guest post by Nathan Lutz, Global Learning Coordinator at Kent Place School
In my role of Global Learning Coordinator, I am constantly seeking ways for our students to have global experiences. Girls in the Middle School and Upper School at Kent Place School have many opportunities for global engagement, including several options for trips. Our Primary School students, however, don’t have as many opportunities. Our World Language classes have sister classes with which they correspond via letter or Skype, but I feel like we can always do more. After all, technology has given us new opportunities for communicating with people all over the world.
When introduced to Level Up Village (LUV), I knew that by we would have new opportunities that would excite our students about meeting other children from around the world.
Though they live on different continents, students at St. Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a group of girls at Ekalavya School in Bangalore, India, were partners this fall in LUV’s Global Inventors course. Together, they studied electricity, computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printing, while learning about each other’s daily lives and cultures via video message exchange. One girl at each end of the partnership reflected on the experience.
Guest post by Margaret Ann Minihan at Louise S. McGehee School
At Louise S. McGehee School, an all-girls school in New Orleans, Louisiana, we know about teaching girls. Research tells us that girls learn differently and are motivated differently than male students. Girls learn best through hands-on activities that give them the opportunity to help others and make a difference in the world. In light of this research, McGehee offers its students several service learning opportunities in the regular curriculum.
This year, we’re trying a new program that is further inspiring our girls’ passion for STEAM (STEM + arts). Our students are learning hands-on Science and Engineering skills, while collaborating one-on-one with partners in developing countries. This innovative program, provided by Level Up Village (LUV), is a welcome addition to our afterschool enrichment program.
“What IS this?” exclaimed Grace. Her eyes widened behind her goggles at she leaned closer to her snake specimen to get a better look. In the middle of the dissection, she had discovered what seemed to be several more little snakes, all coiled up in the abdomen. The other girls clustered around to see.
“First we thought the snake had possibly eaten another snake, but we kept looking and found more and more,” said Jennifer Beck, a teacher at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Houston, Texas. “We weren’t expecting a pregnant one, so we had to do a lot of Internet research, and we learned not all snakes lay eggs. Some carry their young.”
The girls were participating in Level Up Village’s Global Doctors – Anatomy as part of “DASH into Summer,” a summer enrichment program run by Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart.
In her keynote address to the National Coalition of Girls Schools Conference (NCGS) this week in Richmond, Virginia, Reshma Suajani, founder of Girls Who Code, expressed her frustration at walking into robotics classes and seeing scores of boys and maybe one or two girls.
I get it. I have found myself frustrated by exactly the same thing, and that is one of the reasons why we work so hard to bring girls to the table through our global STEAM courses that give students the opportunity to collaborate globally on real-life issues.