By: Tyre White, KTRE | Read it >
Students at HG Temple Elementary are getting hands-on experience with science, technology, engineering, and math, thanks to the Learning Undefeated Texas Mobile STEM Lab.
Students learn about science and math in school, but with 8.6 million jobs in STEM, it only represents 6.2 percent of the total workforce in the U.S.
Learning Undefeated Program Director Desurae Matthews said STEM doesn’t just focus on the acronym.
“We’re trying to develop those 21st century skills with the students, working together, critical thinking, problem solving; these are aspects or skills that you can do in whatever career that you’re going into,” said Matthews.
The engineering design process defines a problem, and tests solutions.
Matthews said their flood barrier activity is an example of that.
“This activity is flood barriers, right, so teaching students what is floods, what’s causing floods, allowing them to use earth materials, so teaching them about mixtures to create a flood barrier to keep water away from their homes, at the end we call it Hurricane Katy, she comes with a gutter, and she shoots water through the gutter to try and break down the barrier,” said Matthews.
Women currently make up 28 percent of engineers, and because of the Texas Mobile STEM Lab, fourth grader Harmony Davis already has an idea of what it takes.
“When I was little, my mom, she used to tell me that engineers, sometimes they’ll get it on their first try, but then when I went to the lab, I learned that engineers, they don’t get it at the first time, and it’s also fun to be an engineer,” said Davis.
According to IDtech.com, STEM jobs are projected to grow 8.8 percent by 2029.
HG Temple Director of curriculum and instruction for math and science Mandy Salaiz wants students to be prepared.
“Well, we have science labs, but this is so much more than what we can provide in the classroom. It’s important for them to see that it’s not like science is not just in this classroom, and math is not just in this classroom, that in the real-world, it all comes together,” said Salaiz.
Learning Undefeated is partnered with the Texas Education Agency.