Thoughts from Maker Faire, USA 2018
The STEMPunks team recently travelled to San Francisco and Austin in the USA. Our desire was to find out what the world was doing in STEM and how STEMPunks could become a world provider in STEM education.
A couple of things we wanted to discover:
1. Emerging technologies
While at Maker Faire we knew that we would see some amazing technologies, we also knew that some of these ideas we could implement into our programs in Australia and around the world. We believe that continually being in contact with the world’s best, we can continually provide the best content to students, schools, and teachers.
2. How STEM Punks is world class.
We used the 'divide and conquer' method - some of our team explored around the Faire or visited workshops while others were situated at the Education presentation for the weekend.
We were able to engage with companies, people, and educators. One of the main points that we took away was that our delivery, system, and innovation is world-class and that our system can be implemented across the globe.
In the USA - there is a big push for project-based learning; this is where teachers give students a task and then let them learn the skills to achieve that task. While this is an amazing concept, how to do this can sometimes leave schools and teachers unsure of what actually to do.
This is what STEM Punks calls precision curriculum. Students choose their scenario and then with facilitation from a teacher can learn all the information, tools and ideas they require to achieve the desired learning. Therefore the issues of the teachers, schools, and administrators has now been solved. Individualised learning with the usage of videos lets students learn at their own time and review the information if it was missed - therefore concepts are never lost.
STEM can therefore be available to all students, and it is available. The only requirements are Internet, computer, and innovation.
The way of acquiring knowledge has changed, and it is our duty as educators to provide skills to students that will be relevant for the world they are living in now, and for the future. The reason of schooling and University was so that a student can acquire that knowledge from that lecturer / University and use that information in the world. Now, all the information from a University can literally be in your hands. Everything has progressed - it is time the Education system progresses too.
You don't need to be the first to adopt precision curriculum - just do not be the last, as you are doing students a disservice and handicapping them for the future.