The Starfish STEM Academy is a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) initiative implemented by the Lloyd Learning Inc. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.
Tsupros, N., Kohler, R., & Hallinen, J. (2009). STEM education: A project to identify the missing components. Intermediate Unit 1: Center for STEM Education and Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning and Outreach, Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania.
Underrepresented females can be prepared for the global STEM workforce when given opportunities, resources, and mentoring.
To strengthen the American STEM pipeline and remain competitive in the global STEM workforce, informal learning STEM outreach programs are critical. STEM outreach programs that engage students in authentic and effective project-based learning opportunities helps to facilitate students in developing positive attitudes toward STEM, which impacts student self-efficacy and improve their perception of their ability to pursue STEM careers.Two STEM outreach programs offered by the Starfish STEM Academy for young females include STEM workshops and STEM camps. In an effort to reduce STEM opportunity and achievement gaps, the workshops and camps are provided at LOW or NO COST to underrepresented middle school females.
Mentors from schools, universities, professionals in STEM fields, and community members can serve as positive role models for middle school students, especially female role models for middle school girls. STEM outreach programs can help to ensure that all students receive the skills and knowledge required for success in the global STEM workforce.
During Starfish STEM Academy workshops and camps, students will also be involved with STEAM education.
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The difference is that arts are included, ranging from visual arts, language arts and physical arts to music and more. STEAM focuses on sparking imagination and creativity through the arts in ways that naturally align with STEM learning.
STEM Education and STEAM Education Defined. (2020). [Blog] Trends in STEM. Available at: https://www.invent.org/blog/trends-stem/stem-steam-defined [Accessed 9 Feb. 2020].
Professional learning opportunities for preservice and inservice teachers are provided by the Transformational Teaching & Learning Program. In an effort to improve teacher effectiveness for transformational teaching, professional learning includes: STEM/STEAM education, integration of educational technology, project-based learning, 21st century learning, and flipped classroom learning.
Professional learning opportunities are also provided for principals, guidance counselors, and education partners to inform them of STEM outreach and instructional practices that impact student learning.