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May 2-10 is STEM Week Oregon, a state-wide celebration to engage young people in activities involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The U.S. Department of Education reports that only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and interested in a STEM career. The Portland Water Bureau is working to change that by sponsoring a limited number of teachers to implement a curriculum enhancement called “STEMhero” (STEMhero.org).
STEMhero is a bilingual, technology-based, program that leads students through collecting and analyzing data directly from their home and/or school’s utility meters, then engineering and testing real-world solutions to save water and energy. STEMhero is middle school-focused and aligned to state science standards.
The response from teachers and students has been great! One teacher notes, “STEMhero was an invaluable component of our students’ experience last year. We saw students begin to understand how water usage works in homes and businesses. What’s more, several students became genuinely invested in exploring ways to make changes in their own water use at home, school, and work…”
Teachers using the program have been impressed with how easy it is to use, and how it enhances connections for students, tying learning to their lives. In a world that needs more STEM professionals, it’s exciting to see kids making these real-life applications of STEM skills.
Want to get STEMhero for your school?
To learn more and request the program, call 414-540-8788 or e-mail nate@STEMhero.org.
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Use the #StemWeekOregon hashtag to contribute to the Twitter conversation!