The Center is committed to leading efforts that increase the number of individuals pursuing STEM careers. From STEM camps and events for underrepresented students to administration of Minnesota’s Project Lead the Way, the Center believes interesting tomorrow’s engineers and technologists begins early. The Center regularly supports STEM events and summer camps throughout Minnesota.
STEM EVENTS FOR DIVERSE LEARNERS
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are viewed as fundamental elements in the preparation of our next generation. This is evidenced by President Obama’s goal of “moving our nation from the middle to the top of the pack in math and science education” and his focus on (a) hiring additional STEM teachers; (b) enhancing STEM literacy so students can think critically in key subjects; (c) improving the quality of instruction to help U.S. students perform competitively with those in other nations; and (d) expanding STEM education and career opportunities for women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups (The White House, 2010).
To begin laying this foundation for students as they compete in the 21st century economy, educators and decision makers must continue to increase their understanding of various STEM education opportunities. They must also realize the need to establish support systems for diverse learners as they relate to STEM education, while at the same time recognize the economic impact of not moving in this direction.
CAMPS ENCOURAGE EARLY SUCCESS
Camp conjures images of summer tie-dye projects, canoe races, and ghost stories by the campfire. Campers and parents expect an atmosphere of relaxation and exploration. They anticipate having both the time and the opportunity to learn new things.
The Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence partners create the same atmosphere with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) camps–minus the ghost stories and talent shows, perhaps! STEM camps are presented by partners in a range of formats with a variety of content: overnight summer camps, day camps, Friday camps, girls’ camps, elementary to high-school camps, engineering camps, space camps, and more.