STEMming The Tide at SCFB – Part 2
STEMming the Tide – Part 2
In our last blog we introduced the project we embarked on with four students from a STEM school, Gilbert Academy. We partnered with them to build some mobile units which would be funded with a grant from ASU. Read Part 1. The question for some of you may be “What is STEM?”.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us from the weather to the creation of new vaccines. Technology is continuously expanding to the point that most of us can’t even remember the time we had no cell phones or personal computers. Engineering is the basic design of roads and bridges, but it also tackles the challenges of how we can address harmful changes in global weather and how we can create environmentally friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives. Schools that have STEM-based curriculums provide opportunities for students to see how concepts relate to life and provide hands-on and minds-on lessons for students.
The lessons for STEM students from the food bank project are:
· Critical Thinking and Innovation: It was necessary for students to work as team and collaborate with our agency. They needed to see and study our process to partner with us in developing a solution to challenges in changing our process completely in response to Covid-19 restrictions.
· Project Management: Once the situation of need was established, they had to create the phases necessary to complete the project. Within each phase would be a breakdown of all the steps necessary for a successful completion.
· Teamwork: once the project goal was established, mobile units were built to travel on uneven ground and in high heat, move easily from car to car, hold all necessary materials, including IPADS, and provide shade for the volunteers collecting information. The members of this team had to work with each other to construct the units and work with the stakeholders to establish and confirm how that construction would meet the needs of the food bank.
This type of project, requiring people from diverse backgrounds coming together to work toward a common goal, are very necessary in skill development for future employment. If, along the way, a not-for-profit organization benefits, that’s what we call a win-win!
Ayla Young, Khushi Parikh, Keely Sorenson and Madison Ngo