Making STEM Connections
The aim of Making STEM Connections is to provide training, resources and materials to educators that will translate into meaningful learning outcomes for their students. Making STEM Connections plans to equip over 120 teachers annually with the skills and necessary materials to enhance their existing curriculum thru Maker’s principals. These connections will lead over 15,000 elementary students over the course of five years to explore STEM principles in a highly-engaging, interactive and safe manner.
- Need Accomplished
- Evaluation Developing
- Sustainability Developing
- Replication & Scalability Accomplished
- Partnerships Accomplished
- Capacity Accomplished
- Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
- STEM Practices Accomplished
- Inspiration Accomplished
- Under-Represented Groups Developing
This project will introduce 3rd through 5th grade students to ‘making’, a hands on approach to STEM education that encourages creativity, problem-solving and collaboration through activities involving building, tinkering and creating.
Superintendent, Johnston Community School District, Iowa
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy. Programs must be Accomplished () across all Design Principles, or be Developing () in a maximum of three areas.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Replication & Scalability Accomplished
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships.
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Challenging & Relevant Content Accomplished
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience.
STEM Practices Accomplished
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Under-Represented Groups Developing
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.
The Science Center of Iowa’s Making STEM Connections program provides elementary school teachers, as well as out-of-school, after school and camp program facilitators, conceptual materials and professional development for bringing the Maker’s movement into their learning space. The Making philosophy directs students to use their hands in conjunction with their minds to build enduring learning connections. Making STEM Connections is designed to empower teachers to cultivate more engaging, purposeful and successful extensions of their already developed curriculum. The Making philosophy directs students to use their hands in conjunction with their minds to produce meaningful learning outcomes. Educating teachers on the process of Making as well as familiarizing them with the tools and materials to be used will be the cornerstone of the Making STEM Connections professional development. Teachers are provided with a curricular framework to develop STEM principles and enhance those already existing in their classroom using Maker’s materials and skills.