WOMEN IN S.T.E.M

Let’s Hear It For The Girls – A Celebration Of Women In STEM

 Women have come a long way since the days when they were unable to vote, buy a property or, even drive a car. In 2019, ten countries across the world have a female leader including the United Kingdom whose current Prime Minister, Theresa May, is the second woman in that position.

Stemming male domination

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are often seen as ‘boys subjects’ and a bit, well, stuffy!   You might be surprised to learn that many of the things we take for granted today like the windscreen wiper and some of our essential medicines, were, in fact, invented by women. In this book, we’re going to take a look at – and celebrate – the achievements of some of STEM’s largely unsung heroines from the last couple of hundred years as well as a sneak peek at some modern STEM stars such as Lisa Kudrow and Lady GaGa.

There is currently a global revolution to engage more girls in STEM subjects which, in the past, were traditionally male. Most countries now recognise that, in order to survive and thrive in the face of new technology, more women are needed in these incredibly important subjects. Having just celebrated International Women’s Day, we take a look at our top 10 living female movers and shakers in the STEM world.

The book “WOMEN IN STEM” celebrates and highlights 20+ women in this field and their remarkable contribution. Women who changed science and the world. Pioneers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Perfect for 6-12 year old kids.

 

Glimpse of the BOOK: Table of Contents:

There have been many hurdles for woman to pursue the sciences. They have remained predominantly male with historically low participation among women.

Scholars are exploring the various reasons for the continued existence of this gender disparity in STEM fields. Those who view this disparity as resulting from discriminatory forces are also seeking ways to redress this disparity within STEM fields. Some proponents view diversity as an inherent human good, and wish to increase diversity for its own sake, regardless of its historical origin or present cause. Not having access to the universities and not being paid a fair wage are just a few of those barriers. Let’s celebrate the milestones in history and accomplishments woman have made in education and science.

 

Statistics in STEM:

The US government has used the census to understand the American workforce. A new study published in 2018 gave the world insight into how woman are not well represented in the STEM fields. From the mid century to the new millennium there has been a definite increase in female scientists, but woman are still under represented in these fields. That simply wont do. There is a little girl right now who would grow up to cure cancer, explore a new galaxy or even discover a new type of energy. Let’s inspire more awesome girls to share their point of you and make amazing discoveries!

More WOMEN IN STEM:

 Elizabeth Blackburn

 From Tasmania, Australia, Elizabeth Blackburn PHD, is a ground-breaking scientist responsible for many advances in the field of telomeres. Blackburn was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2009.

 Chelsea Clinton

 Daughter of former US President, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton says she is on a mission to make STEM subjects cool for girls and regularly travels around the USA to host events on the subject. Chelsea is Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation.

 Helen M Blau

 London born Helen studied at England’s University of York and at Harvard University and is best known for her experiments with heterokaryons (fusions of differentiated cells from two different species), work which proved that even mature, differentiated cells retain the latent capacity for the expression of different cell types, and that mature cell type could in fact be reversed — something that had previously been assumed to be impossible.

Debbie Sterling

 A graduate of Stanford University, Debbie Sterling is an engineer and inventor of toys. She is the writer of a series of interactive books in which a girl inventor uses engineering to solve everyday problems.

Linda B Buck

 Born in Washington, USA, Linda Buck is known for her work on stem cell research

Buck is currently a Full Member of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

 Dr Ellen Stofan

 Chief Scientist at NASA, Dr Ellen Stofan, predicts that the human race may be settling on other planets in as little as 10 years time. Ellen adds, ‘We are doing amazing science and, we are role models for the next generation of STEM girls.’

Marissa Mayer

 Another Stanford graduate, Marissa Mayer cut her teeth working with tech giant, Google andis now CEO of Yahoo. Marissa says, ‘I always surround myself with the smartest people I can find as they make you think about things harder.  

 Uma Chowdhry

 Born in Mumbai, Uma Chowdhry graduated from the Indian Institute of Science before moving to the United States where she began her work on developing new ceramic materials for the field of high-temperature superconductivity. Now retired, Uma was elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

 Ana Caraiani

 Romanian Ana Caraiani, has worked primarily on problems at the interface of the Langlands correspondence with arithmetic algebraic geometry.   In the spring of 2018, Caraiani is due to take up a position as a von Neumann Fellow at the IAS.

 Mary L Cummings

 From Tennessee, Mary Cummings received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the United States Naval Academy as well as a master’s degree in space systems. Mary was a naval officer and military pilot and, In 1989, she was one of the first women to land a supersonic jet fighter — a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet — on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

 These are just some of the women who have helped to shape the world that we now live in and, who continue to dominate in their fields.

 

S.T.E.M Journal For Kids

Taking Note Of The Importance Of STEM Journals

 As a teacher or parent, you’re no doubt aware of the importance of STEM subjects for children of all ages, including pre-school. As the profile of these important subjects increases across the globe, we’re becoming more adept at not just integrating them into children’s daily lives but, also encouraging children to take an active interest.

 A great way of helping children build enthusiasm is to encourage them to keep a journal of their activities. It may be that, inspired by iconic books such as Diary Of a Wimpy Kid and Just Under The Clouds, your child already keeps a personal diary  and, so, will be familiar with the process.

 The benefits of a STEM Journal

 A little different from a personal diary, a journal is a method of recording STEM subject activities in order to measure progress. There are a number of benefits to keeping a STEM journal including:

  • Record all the big ideas and inventions.
  • Solve a problem and rise to challenges.
  • Put to use science, technology, engineering and math knowledge and skills.
  • Improved handwriting 
  • Improved efficiency – when a child can look back at what they did before, it enables them to learn and improve
  • Improved goal-setting – Looking back at setbacks and errors marked in the journal can help with planning and goal setting for future projects

 Before beginning your child’s STEM journal, it’s important to set a few ground rules and discuss these with your child:

  • Decide on how often the journal will be updated
  • Decide who can look at the journal; will this be just your child, you and your child or, will you get to look at it only with your child’s permission? It’s worth noting that the privacy of the journal will have a direct effect on how honest your child feels that they can be when writing in it.
  • What format the journal will take – will this be a formal record or will your child be free to doodle, make notes and explore random thoughts?
  • Will you have a separate journal for each subject or, one general STEM journal?

What should the child do in his or her journal?

 Following the ground rules above, it’s up to you and your child to decide the content of the journal but, these will be commonly used to:

  • Explore and identify different ideas and problem-solving thoughts
  • Examine the pros and cons of a project in order to be more effective
  • Examine own thoughts about a project or situation
  • Gain some insight into science in this world
  • Recognize the positives and negatives of a challenge
  • Plan out projects and events

 

STEM Journal For Kids

In the book “STEM KIDS JOURNAL”, we examine the importance of journaling for children when learning STEM subjects using the ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS prompts and cover a number of useful topics including:

 Ask Questions – With any type of learning, it’s important that a child is encouraged to ask questions in order to understand fully the objective of the project.

 Solve Problems – The ability to identify and resolve problems is a fundamental part of our world and it’s never too early to introduce this into learning schedules.

 Design A Plan – We explore the importance of proper planning for a project’s ultimate success.

 Test – We look at measuring the success of a project; did it work? If not, why not?

Improve – Finally, we take what we’ve learned and use it to achieve better results for the next project.

 

It’s said that many incredibly successful entrepreneurs, including Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey, keep a journal of their professional lives as a matter of course. Owner of the $4.8 billion Virgin Group, Richard Branson, says that he takes a journal with him wherever he goes, adding, “If you have a thought but don’t write it down, by the next morning it may be gone forever.”

It may be a while before your child is competing with Mr Branson but, encouraging them to record and analyse their STEM work is a great start.

7 EASY WAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR CLASSROOM

As we settle into 2019, it’s time to take stock and take charge. At this time of year, apathy can set in for teachers and students alike so we’ve put together our guide to supercharging your classroom for the year. 

7 EASY WAYS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR CLASSROOM!

 

1. Chart it out

 In order for learning to be effective, students need to understand what their goals are and, how to achieve them. As a teacher, it’s your task to make sure that each and every student understands the why and how of their learning path. Try adding a large chart to the classroom which details every step of the journey to reaching the overall goal. You can buy these online or, if you’re feeling creative, make your own. A visual reminder is a great tool for keeping students on track as they progress through the year.

 2. Real life learning

 In 2019, introducing STEM learning to classrooms is more important than ever before. Even if your school doesn’t officially have a STEM curriculum, you can introduce these subjects into other lessons – for example, you can introduce engineering by discussing with students how objects in the classroom work and operate. Introduce the engineering design process and work with it.

 

3. Natural learning

 Encourage students to think about their studies outside of the classroom by introducing mini-projects. Each Friday, try asking students to bring back an item from nature found during their weekend. This can be a simple leaf or a fossil or shell and can form an ongoing discussion about the world around us.

 4. STEM and STEAM bins

STEM Bins and STEAM Bins are an ideal hands-on solution for early finishers, morning work, centers, fine motor practice, indoor recess, teambuilding, calm down centers, Makerspaces, or positive reinforcement of behavior. They are also a creative and developmentally appropriate form of engineering for elementary students.

The management of STEM Bins depends on you completely, as they can be used during multiple times of the day. “Challenge Yourself” cards take structures to the next level, allowing students to improve and enhance their structures.

Provide blueprint recording sheets, flipbooks, and writing templates that can be either copied for each student or placed in page protectors for students to draw creations with a dry erase marker. Writing Prompt cards are also provided to allow for literacy extensions.

What can be in STEM bins?

Supplies Checklist

Weekly Routines

What Are My Students Learning?

Teacher Questions and Prompts

STEM Bin Covers with Labels & Photos

Lower Grade STEM Bin Task Cards

3D Shapes Task Cards

“Challenge Yourself” extensions

Blueprint Recording Sheet

Foldable Recording Booklets (My Creations, My Design Process, My Invention)

Writing Prompt Cards

Writing Extensions (four line types)

 

5. In it together

 One of the best ways to keep your classroom running smoothly is to get your students involved. Assign each student a chore or task such as collecting books or taking attendance in order to make students feel that they are an integral part of the process. In order to introduce new knowledge to your students, try starting with what they already know. For example, during lessons on technology, ask each child for an example of technology in the home and put these on a chart. This will help students to assimilate new information by starting with something familiar.

 6. Thinking aloud

 They say that a driving student who has first been given lessons by a parent or friend automatically brings bad habits to the learning process and, the same can be said for classroom learning. At the start of a new lesson, students will often have preconceived ideas about the subject picked up from their parents. Encourage students to look at a subject in different ways and to explain their own ideas in order to challenge them.

 7. Motivate and inspire

 Sticking with the STEM theme, try introducing one new inspirational figure every week, such as a famous inventor or scientist. Make sure that you keep these even in terms of gender and spread them across the STEM subjects. Start the week by putting a picture and mini-bio of the subject on the wall and encourage discussion of their achievements in order to inspire students.

 By getting your classroom organised and introducing new ways of thinking, you can make sure you have a great year – and help prepare your students for the next stage of their education.

 

 

 

40+ ACTIVITIES FOR STEM & STEAM FOR PRE-SCHOOL

We all know how important it is to introduce STEM and STEAM activities into pre-school but, how do you find the time to source and plan them?

As a pre-school teacher, you’ve usually got your hands full just keeping up with the day to day curriculum but, don’t worry, we’ve put together our 40+ favourite STEM and STEAM activities for you.

You can find the details in the new WizKids book, Next-Gen STEAM Pre-school guide.

 In the Next-Gen STEAM Preschool guide, kindergarten students become scientists, engineers and environmental stewards as they gain and develop the 21st century competencies needed for tomorrow’s highly skilled workforce. Over 10 modules, the book includes the latest in science and technology and, each module is divided into four units, providing 40 hands-on projects with a 60 minute lesson plan formula.

 1) EXPLORATION STUDIO

This is an exciting place to begin as it covers subjects familiar to young children in playful ways they’ll easily understand. Building houses, magnetic fishing, exploring colored light and making musical instruments are super-creative activities kids love to do. What better way to introduce STEM principles than through familiar play?

 There are four sections in Exploration Studio covering STEM careers such as architecture, acoustical engineering and the science behind magnets, light and colors. Through recommended storybooks, videos and songs, the ‘magic’ in each module is unveiled. Songs and story activity enable very young kids to engage immediately and guide their minds towards scientific learning.

2) BOUNTIFUL EARTH

With a magnifying glass in hand, kids will investigate our bountiful earth and things in nature. They’ll learn the difference between insects and spiders, study habitats and environments. They explore life cycle and organisms in our world using STEM toys and aids. They inquire about different animals in a pond setting, land and more. It will fascinate them. The kids will tinker with K’Nex®, stimulating toys and their creativity will reach new heights. Imagination and fun is key to keeping them engaged while books, videos and sing-a-longs are boosters to scientific learning. They’ll even get to grow their lunch! What can be better than this?

 

 

3) UNDER OUR WORLD AND BEYOND

Part three introduces kids to what lies beneath and beyond our planet. They’ll investigate and examine the mysteries of the night sky and far away constellations. Watch how excited they become when they begin to understand the science behind the weather. Every child is fascinated and enthralled by dinosaurs; STEM expands that interest to show them how life first began on earth and explains how we know what we do about the beginnings of our planet. Explore careers as paleontologists, meteorologists and astronomers.

 4) SIMPLE MACHINES

Become a mechanical engineer and use engineering, physics and math to design and make mechanical things. Experiment with simple machines and learn how they work. Screws and Gears, Pulleys, Wheels and Axles, Levers and Inclines are all simple machines we use in our everyday life. Explore easy ways to tinker with them and make things in class or at home. Like Snow White’s Dwarfs, all work begins with a song so Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to work we go!

 

5) THE GLORIOUS OUTDOORS

Nature gives STEM a huge canvas to work on and this section is filled with geology and archeology projects and learning. There is so much in nature to discover and examine, from organic and geometric shapes to rocks. The kids make crystals and beehives using science and math along with art in the most fun a preschooler can have. Collecting pebble ‘treasures’ is a favorite with this age group and the ‘wow’ factor as they learn that some rocks float and they can make crystals is enormous. Soften the rocks and crystals with bubbles and leaves to open the kids’ minds to the huge diversity in Mother Nature. Science + fun = learning.

 

6) GREEN ENGINEERING

Green Engineering is a prime skill that is growing in demand. Teaching kids to think creatively and to find alternative ways of treating waste and protecting the environment prepares them for the jobs of the future. Environmental science is the core foundation of STEM careers. Through recycling and reusing of waste, the kids learn that single-use is no longer acceptable. Everything we use has to have more than one life if we are to make the earth a happy one! Kids will learn concepts such as green engineering, upcycling and reverse engineering as they tinker with loose parts, take things apart to find out how they work and use their imagination to invent toys and other things.

 

7) AWESOME REACTIONS

Chemistry is boring! No, it’s not so put the book down and show the kids that chemistry is all around them. Without chemistry, there would be no magic tricks or fireworks, or cookies! Chemistry is why apples turn yucky brown when they are cut open and lava lamps ooze and squirm. Part 7 turns the kids into Chemical Engineers, making their own volcano and yucky slime! They’ll even get to make an exploding lunch bag, watch out! Lab coats and safety goggles essential for this section.

 8) ENGINEERING – IT’S CHILD’S PLAY!

Transportation plays an important role in everyday life and it easily engages any young kid. Cars, buses, trains, planes and boats may be familiar to them but how about space rockets and submarines? Without them realizing it, learning more about these everyday machines exposes the kids to engineering concepts. And is awesome fun, too!

 9) MODERN SCIENCES: Forensic, Cleaning detergents, Human body and Coding

Forensic, Cleaning detergents, Human body and Coding Fingerprints are a key

identification factor and not just for catching a crook! Open doors, start your car, turn on your computer – but what is a fingerprint and why is it unique? Watch the kids’ faces as they compare fingerprints – STEM magic! They’ll also learn about the chemicals needed to clean things and some basic body biology – how the right foods make them grow and keep them strong. Coding is a critical component of computer science and kids are never too young to understand the principals. Get set to blow their curious minds!

10) FRANKENSTEIN A TOY

Let the kids become a Toy Designer and create toys using science and engineering! They’ll learn to make 3D robots and make them glow with LEDs. Why do things fall to the ground when they are dropped? Make their own falling parachute and find out about gravity and air resistance. Showcase the superhero in the kids with the light-up superhero wristband! Mix simple and safe electronics with science to come up with their own creations. Can light be separated? Let the class make color spinners and test their eyes! Spin it fast enough and all the rainbow colors turn white. Magic? No, it is science! Building early literacy through STEM books and play.

Once you get the hang of introducing these activities into your classroom, it’ll become an integral part of your day and, in time, you’ll start coming up with your own (in which case, do let us know as we’re always on the lookout for ideas!)

 Sumita Mukherjee is a NASA STEM certified leader and children’s book author. She has been fortunate enough to travel around the globe, explore many countries and meet different people. Mysteries and adventures have been captured from there in the form of her Keiko Kenzo STEM travel adventure series. These books are to inspire young readers to know and appreciate various countries, develop a love for discovery and learn about the world around them. Her series of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) books encourages kids to invent and explore, to empower themselves and see themselves as world leaders and problem solvers. Her books celebrate diversity, spark curiosity and capture children’s imaginations! Sumita currently lives in Toronto with her family.

 Review for Next-Gen STEAM Pre-school guide.

Brittany

5.0 out of 5 stars

Great for Young Minds!

 This book is so much fun! Even as an adult, I want to do some of these activities. This STEM book is made for preschool aged kids, and it does a great job at simplifying science for 3-6 year olds. The activities are fun and keeps their attention span really well. This is also a great way to introduce and encourage biology, physics, design, etc. These may sound like big words for a preschool book, but this guide builds a foundation to encourage children to learn and expand their world a little at a time. This is definitely being added to my education arsenal.

STEM TRAINING FOR EDUCATORS IN LESS THAN A DOLLAR!

Training The Teachers To STEM The Deficit

 Recent studies across the globe have shown that the world is waking up to the very real need for improved STEM education for children in order to keep up with the demand for new technology and improved resources. Children may be the future but, in order to cultivate leaders of tomorrow, we need to education ourselves and become the next-gen educators. STEM TRAINING GUIDE BOOK is a quick way to accelerate learning for teachers, educators, homeschooling parents and adults. You can Buy now here: 

 A strategy for growth

 Over half of the public school districts in the USA and worldwide, say that they struggle to recruit certified, knowledgeable STEM teachers. These critical shortages deprive students of a vital STEM / STEAM education need and highlights the need of skilled professionals the world needs now. The key to addressing this is not just to target the new teachers but to also develop training strategies for those already in the classrooms. STEM training for all teachers will soon become not just necessary but compulsory. 

 STEM Training Guide Book – for the next-gen teachers

 The STEM Training Guide Book is a great solution for schools looking to address their STEM training needs without sending annual budgets into the red. Compiled by Wizkids Club Founder, Sumita Mukherjee, this book helps teachers get started on STEM and STEAM in the classroom. It address the basic requirements of a teacher or homeschooler to get STEM educated. A look at the contents:

https://www.amazon.com/STEM-Training-Guide-Book-homeschoolers-ebook/dp/B07NKL9GX2/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=STEM+training+guide+book&qid=1549935592&s=gateway&sr=8-2

  • What is STEM?
  • Importance of STEM in classrooms
  • Making a STEM lesson plan
  • Growing the maker mindset
  • STEM in the classroom
  • The engineering design process and more.

 

While getting acquainted with the nuts and bolts of STEM training, this book deals with the tricky art of convincing students that traditional STEM subjects are not ‘too boring’ or ‘too hard’ – phrases which come up time and time again, particularly with female students.

Rather than expensive re-training, The STEM Training Guide Book can be introduced into schools as a training tool, allowing teachers to slowly integrate STEM subjects into every aspect of their teaching. The book is also a great addition to the library for home-schoolers and parents looking to give their children a head start in the all important STEM subjects. Buy here:

 It’s not just an education – it’s a revolution!

 “I want us all to think about new and creative ways of engaging young people in science and engineering, whether through science festivals, robotics competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create, build and invent….to be “makers of things; not just consumers of things”: President Barack Obama. In this book, Wizkids Club’s Initiative To Spread Steam Globally, Sumita highlights the ways in which world leaders are calling for more proactive STEM education in what really is becoming a world-wide revolution.

 Image. Build. Play

 NASA’s Sumita Mukherjee is a STEM advocate and created the WizKidsclub with the aim of creating the next generation of creative leaders. Fun and educational, the WizKids Club offers books, hands-on projects and stories to ignite the imagination of children and to guide parents and teachers in all things STEM and STEAM.

 

 To get on board and join the revolution, visit WizKidsClub.com or follow us on Facebook.

 

 

Wizkids Club’s Initiative To Spread STEAM Globally

Hello World – A Global STEM Initiative

 Our world is badly in need of our help – as the human race continues to deplete the planet’s resources and destroy it’s ecosystems, there’s a growing demand for talented engineering and science professionals. Despite this, the number of students entering these professions is still well below requirements; a situation which becomes more urgent with every passing year.

 I believe the children are our future

 NASA’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Leader, Sumita Mukherjee, is on a mission to help produce the next generation of leaders, movers and shakers through STEM and STEAM learning. Through her WIZKIDS CLUB initiative, Sumita guides parents and educators in the introduction of STEM and STEAM learning for children between the ages of 4 and 12. Far from a new concept, STEM learning began in earnest just after World War II when a need to rebuild and move forward became a driver for new and improved skills. Focussing on real-life, hands-on learning, STEM gives children and young people the opportunity to experiment and explore and, to understand how STEM subjects find their place in everyday life.

 Although STEM and STEAM learning began, largely, in the United States, it has become an increasingly global venture – something that Sumita is determined to encourage and champion. As we head into 2019, Sumita takes a look at how STEM education is shaping our future leaders around the world.

 

Canada

 In Canada, it’s all about the girls – specifically, encouraging more girls and young women to embrace STEM subjects. Vancouver born Elsie MacGill was the world’s first female aeronautical engineer and the first to build and test an aircraft – despite being asked to leave the University of British Columbia in 1921 because of her gender.

 Despite the more enlightened times in which we now live, just 13% of Canada’s engineers are female which has prompted the Senate to address the issue through an Open Caucus made up of business leaders, academics and teachers. Moving forward, Canada has identified three main ways in which it intends to address the STEM gender deficit:

 Inspiration – The Caucus panel found that young women need more positive STEM role models from an early age in order to embrace these subjects.

 Starting ‘em young – Canada’s public elementary schools need to become much more proactive in making STEM subjects interesting and fun in order to dispel the general idea that subjects like maths are just ‘hard and boring.’ The panel called for more investment in training elementary school teachers in STEM education. The Next Gen STEAM Pre-School Guide, is a great tool for parents and teachers alike and contains over 40 activities for children aged between 3 and 6.   https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/172731722X/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i3

Relevance – Schools need to examine and change how STEM topics are taught, with more emphasis on showing students how technology, science and maths shape the world in which we live.

 

USA

 Like it’s Northern neighbour, the USA has begun to prioritize STEM learning, beginning in its elementary schools. A recent study showed that, although there has been an increase in American STEM graduates, approximately 74% of these graduates are not entering STEM professions. In 2015, President Barack Obama made a speech during the fifth White House Science Fair citing the importance of new private-sector commitments of $240 million for STEM education programs and the need for increased participation of under-represented groups in STEM fields.

Of STEM learning, the former President said, “That’s why we love science. It’s more than a school subject, or the periodic table, or the properties of waves. It is an approach to the world, a critical way to understand and explore and engage with the world, and then have the capacity to change that world, and to share this accumulated knowledge. It’s a mindset that says we that can use reason and logic and honest inquiry to reach new conclusions and solve big problems. And that’s what we are celebrating here today with these amazing young people.”

 More recently, current USA President, Donald Trump, has granted a fund of $200 million a year saying that we need to, “Help give our American children a pathway to success in the workforce of tomorrow.”

 In addition to improving teacher training and introducing more proactive STEM learning in elementary schools, the USA is focussing on encouraging girls to embrace STEM subjects, with an emphasis on tackling pay discrepancies between male and female STEM employees – and that between white and black students and employees. A report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has said that grades show that female students are just as competent in these subjects as their male counterparts and that schools need to dispel the myth among female students that they are ‘not cut out’ for these subjects.

 New York’s NYSCI centre is the ideal environment for teachers and parents to introduce STEM to children and young people as a stimulating and fun endeavour. Sumita Mukherjee’s STEM & STEAM Next-Gen Program is a cutting edge scientific learning system and a vital tool for all K-5 teachers.

 

United Kingdom

 Across the pond, the UK has also identified skills shortages within STEM professions with the UK Commission for Employment & Skills stating that a deficit of skilled professionals leaves around 43% of STEM based vacancies unfilled.

 Like Canada and the USA, the British Government is working to address its STEM shortage including better STEM education for younger children, initiatives such as after-school clubs, banishing of stereotypes in schools and, more training for adults. The UK Government recently introduced a scheme which offers free, basic digital skills training for adults who lack suitable qualifications. Delivered by colleges across the country, the scheme aims to populate the UK with more STEM professionals. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley said at the launch, ““In today’s digital economy, being able to use modern technology and navigate the internet should be considered as important as English and Maths. But too many people struggle to get by, with more than 10 million adults in England lacking the basic digital skills they need.”

 The UK is also putting greater focus on apprenticeships which will offer future STEM professionals on-the-job learning, allowing vital training for those whose financial commitments stop them from entering full time college or university education.

 

Singapore

 A recent survey by Amgen Asia showed that a whopping 90% of students in Singapore enjoy at least one STEM subject. Although this is great news, the survey also revealed that there is work to be done in engaging more students and making sure that teachers are fully equipped to teach STEM subjects.

 Impressively proactive, Singapore boasts a number of STEM based initiatives as it vows to become a world leader in these subjects. In 2015, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that STEM capabilities in the country were critical to ensuring Singapore’s growth within the next 50 years.

 Established in 1991, Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) was launched to advance the economy and boost the biomedical science, energy, chemical and engineering industries.

 As with other countries, Singapore’s STEM revolution begins in schools and workshops. Teachers and parents introduce the importance of these subjects in real life to children through fun and interactive workshops such as Wearable Technology and Fashion Technology. Schools also seek to inspire children by teaching them about home-grown inventors such as Yvon Bock and Jackie Y Ying,

 In her book, Famous STEM Inventors, Sumita Mukherjee inspires and motivates 6 to 10 year olds to learn about important inventors and work on their own creations.

 

Vietnam

 In 2017, FPT Primary School became the first primary school in Vietnam to introduce STEM education, signalling the beginning of the country’s move to enhance it’s STEM education for younger children. For older children, Le Quy Don Secondary School is one of a few schools which has organized STEM education in curricular teaching program. STEM lessons have been integrated into physics, chemistry and biology teaching hours. Recently, the school kicked off a project on automatic management greenhouse with flexible teaching methods, however, the project will need huge investment, with VND40 million (around $1725) for one VR (virtual reality) glass and learning software. STEM and STEAM initiatives in Vietnam focus very much on the designing and building of motors and automated machines and aim to capture the imaginations of children by allowing them to build their own fully working machines.

 Sumita Mukherjee’s STEM Doodle Book is a fun way of introducing complex STEM subjects to younger children in order to encourage an interest in these subjects.

 

India

 In recent years, India has predicted that, in the future, 80% of jobs will require STEM skills – and the the country needs to work proactively to ensure that it has enough skilled professionals. India is tackling this in a number of ways:

 Education – Indian schools are being encouraged to focus on hands-on, real life learning as well as STEM enhancement across all subjects.

 Industry – Many Indian companies are becoming involved in school initiatives; helping to mould their future employees.

 Government – The Indian government is issuing guidelines to schools with a view to upgrading library infrastructures and learning assets.

 STEAM@INDIA: Focus on engineering and STEAM in India. My workshops introduction to latest in education. More on what STEAM is happening in India.

STEAM Ahead – DIY For Kids is the perfect accompaniment to India’s new STEM education initiatives, allowing children to understand the importance of making and fixing things in the real world.

 

Doing it for the kids – and our world

 The Wizkids Club seeks to improve awareness of STEM learning through a number of books by Sumita Mukherjee which introduce fun and informative ways to approach STEM subjects. Each book is carefully constructed to entertain and to encourage through exciting activities and workshop opportunities. For younger children, recently released RESCUE MISSION WITH MY STEM INVENTION is the ideal tool for bringing literature to life for children aged between 6 and 8. Combining a fun story with creativity, the book is the perfect way to move your child away from the screen and into a lifelong love of reading.

 RESCUE MISSION WITH MY STEM INVENTION tells the story of Tiffany, Nicole and Alan, a group of children who are excited about being entered into the annual Best Tech Idea contest. Three brilliant middle school STEMists, they proudly present their “Forever Slime Soap”, “Oxygen Producing Motor”, “Oil Sucking Contraption” and “Colour Changing Cake” – a piece of cake for top STEMists like these three – but someone’s out to ruin their chances!

 As well as providing an entertaining story, this book is designed to get children used to the idea that, even at their age, they can grow up to become a leader by providing the world with much needed technology and practical inventions.

 For older children, engineering and DIY books such as ‘Simple Machines And Forces’ offer a more in-depth look at the real-world application of STEM learning. In books like this one, Sumita Mukherjee shows youngsters how to build working machines and devices, giving them a very real insight into how STEM is applied in everyday life.

 In addition to the books, the Wizkids Club offers useful resources, lesson plans and after school club ideas for teachers and educators. For more, check out www.wizkidsclub.com

 

 

Top 5 inventions in year 2019 to look out for (in STEM/ Science experiences)

2018 was a big year for the scientific community and 2019 is set to be an even bigger year with even more inventions in STEM and STEAM. So with so much to look forward to, what are the top 5 inventions to look out for in 2019? Here is our rundown of the five inventions in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics that you will want to look out for.

Augmented Reality Surgery (Part of STEM Education):

Surgeons at St. Mary’s hospital in London are pioneering the use of AR (Part of STEM) in the field of surgery and are using it to make skin grafting operations safer and faster for patients. Augmented Reality headsets are being used to help with skin graft surgery. The headset projects multiple images of CT scans over the surgeon’s real world view to help give them a better picture of the anatomy of the person they are treating. The scans are being used to identify the blood vessels that will supply the skin grafts and help the reconstructive tissue to heal properly.

Doctors in London are not the only ones that are pioneering the use of Augmented Reality Surgery. In Netherlands they are also using the technology to identify brain tumours.

This astounding invention in the STEM field is based on the technology used in a Virtual Reality Microsoft video game.

 

Quantum Computing (Part of STEM Education):

With an uptake in investment in quantum computing (Part of STEM) in 2018, 2019 is set to see some huge advances in this technological field. With IBM having just unveiled its first commercial quantum computer earlier this month, it is a huge leap forward. This particular 20-qubit machine has been designed for scientific and commercial use, but it is not yet powerful enough to handle the commercial applications that many have envision for quantum computing. This first machine has been designed to take on the problems that are too complex for the classic computing systems that are currently in use.

 

Blockchain(Part of STEM Education):

Blockchain cryptography is set to make big changes to internet security in 2019. Though there are still some that are apprehensive about whether blockchain can actually deliver the incorruptible security that it promises. Blockchain has been around for a few years now, but it is set to make big changes and develop even further in 2019.

 

3D Metal Printing(Part of STEM Education):

We saw the beginnings of 3D metal printing (Part of STEM) in 2018, but in 2019 big things are expected to come from the developments in the 3D printing field. 3D printing has already led to the most intricate production of things such as prosthetic limbs and the metal 3D printing field is even more exciting.

The ability to optimize parts with 3S metal printing has already led to a 700mm overhead value gear being reduced from 100lbs to 12lbs and there is even more to come. Though 3D printing is disrupting different markets, the evolution of this technology is going to keep accelerating.

 

 

5G(Part of STEM Education):

The next step in data and mobile connectivity is 5G(Part of STEM). Promising to deliver faster speeds and more reliable connections than ever before, some 5G networks are being rolled out in 2019, though it will be 2020 until it will be available worldwide. With huge amounts of data, average download speeds of around 1GBps and a network that will work alongside 3G and 4G networks that exist now, it is a step forward to a more connected world. iPhone users will have to wait for the 5G chips to be rolled out for a few more years though as Apple have already announced that it will not able to provide 5G technology until 2020.

 

Check out more articles on STEM here: https://wizkidsclub.com/blog/ 

A step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Fossil fuel for a child’s imagination

Children are endlessly fascinated by dinosaurs – from their alien appearance to their exotic names, there’s something about these ancient creatures that never fails to grab a child’s imagination. So let’s enjoy this step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil now!

Like yourself, we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to engage children during the Summer break.  Whether it’s taking part in a craft activity or reading a book together, spending time together is great and, if you can sneak in a little educational content then so much the better!  Making a dinosaur fossil with your child is great fun and, also, gives you a chance to tell him or her a little bit about fossils and how they occur.  In nature, fossils take thousands of years to form.  Thankfully, even the summer break doesn’t go on that long (although it may sometimes feel like it) so, I’ve put together a slightly quicker way of making your own dino fossil.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

How to make your dino fossil

The following is a step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil with your child.  You’ll need:

  • A toy dinosaur (choose a toy with lots of texture and detail for the most effective dino fossil)
  • Acrylic paints
  • A paintbrush
  • A sponge
  • A glass beaker
  • A couple of plastic bowls
  • Water
  • A block of clay (regular modelling clay is fine)
  • Powdered plaster of Paris

First, we make the base of our fossil with our modelling clay.  Break off a piece of clay about the size of the palm of your hand and mould it into a round shape with a slight dip in the middle, like a shallow bowl.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Next, take the dinosaur toy (held sideways so that it’s in profile) and press the toy into the clay and hold it for a moment or two.  Gently pull the toy away from the clay and you’ll see that it’s left an impression of it’s profile in the clay.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Break off two more pieces of clay and mould them with your hands into long thick strips and then place these around the impression to form a wall around it.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Now, take your water and powdered plaster of Paris and mix these together in the glass to form a thin paste (around the consistency of yogurt).  Once ready, pour the mixture into your clay bowl, leaving a little space (around 1cm) at the top.  You’ll notice that the mixture gets thicker as you pour so you need to be quick.  The mixture should set quite quickly (about five minutes) so, while it’s setting, you can make sure that you have your paints and paintbrush ready.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

After around five minutes, gently prod the plaster of Paris mould to make sure that it’s dry.  Then, gently remove the clay wall that you made around the dinosaur impression.  Now, turn the mould upside down and gently remove the clay base. Now you have your plaster of Paris dino fossil.

Finally, use your sponge to mix together grey and brown acrylic paints to make a ‘rock colour’ then use your brush to cover the entire dino fossil to give it a realistic appearance.

Step by step guide to make dinosaur fossil

Now that you’ve perfected your dino fossil you can experiment with other animal and insect toys such as spiders, snakes and much more.

The New World of E-Textile Fashion

Looking Smart – The New World Of E-Textile fashion

For the uninitiated, E-textile fashion is the latest word in wearable digital technology. Combining traditional fabrics with digital components, Smart Garments are being created with tiny computer technology embedded into the composition of the material.

E-Textile Fashion

Changing gear

If you’re picturing the kind of outfits that the crew of the Star Ship Enterprise wear, don’t worry; Smart Clothing is being designed to look just as stylish and practical as regular garments, just with much more functionality.

Smart textiles are being developed which contain digital and electronic components such as batteries, lights and tiny computers in order to let the wearer communicate, transfer energy, monitor health and even transform in a number of ways at the touch of a button or, even, with just a certain kind of movement.   Using textiles which easily conduct electricity, such as cotton, nylon and polyester, textile based sensor electronics can be weaved into the fabric creating a kind of couture motherboard.

Why e-textiles?

As well as the convenience of not having to carry electronic devices in a pocket or bag, e-textiles have a number of benefits such as flexibility, permeability, low cost production and discretion. In addition, e-textiles will offer thermal and electrical resistance to the wearer.

The use of e-textiles will be limited initially to two separate kinds; textiles which have electronics embedded into the finished garment and, textiles whose very composition includes passive electronics such as solar cells, conductors and resistors. The first kind of textile will be used for classical electronics such as LEDs for recreational uses like clubbing and events and will have conventional batteries embedded into the fabric, whereas, the latter will be manufactured with the components as part of the fabric and will be used for athletic and military purposes. Such purposes may include the monitoring and regulation of body temperature and the resistance of extreme weather conditions. In time, it is thought that Smart Fabrics may even be able to protect against environment and bio hazards.

E-Textile Fashion

Body Con

Although it may seem a little far-fetched to many, these wearable fabrics may have a very important role to play in our future health-care as they will be able to not only monitor health but also administer basic treatments.

In addition to our health, these garments may even make us more beautiful – by adding anti-ageing moisturizers and perfumes to the fabrics.

Once the technology is up and running, the possibilities are endless – e-textiles could be used in home furnishings meaning that heating, lighting and entertainment devices could be integrated into soft furnishings – giving a whole new meaning to the term couch potato !

The techy bit

E-textile fashion will be produced using fabrics suitable for conducting and semi-conducting electricity. Metallic and textile fibre will be combined to create a fabric which is flexible and, more importantly, washable.

With the speed at which technology advances, many will be unsurprised by this new and very real possibility which will make interesting catwalk viewing!

Creating Your Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity

Imaginative by nature – Creating Your Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity

Encouraging a love of nature is gifting your child with unlimited resources of free and fulfilling entertainment. Thus we will be learning here to create a Nature Collage – A Pre-School Activity.

The best part of being a nature lover is that it’s all around us – you don’t need to live in the country or near the sea to be able to enjoy Mother Nature’s gifts; all you need is a park, nature reserve or wooded area.

A great way of encouraging your child to embrace nature is to help them to make their own nature collage – a pre-school activity neck-piece.  As well as making a fun item for your child to keep, this activity involves spending time together outdoors and helps to hone their observational and identification skills.

Nature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

How does it work? 

First, arm yourself with a large bag and pay a visit to your nearest park, beach or wood.  Walk slowly around the perimeter, stopping every few steps to recite, ‘What can we see?’  This exercise will help get your child used to actively observing what’s around him or her.  Take turns in saying what you can see and collect small items such as fallen leaves, acorns, pebbles, shells and feathers (make sure that you’re allowed to do so – most public areas will usually have signs pointing out the rules).  

For each item collected, discuss with your child what it is and where it comes from as well as how it looks, feels and smells. Different shapes? Color? Smell?

Nature Collage - A Pre-School ActivityNature Collage - A Pre-School ActivityNature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

Making your neck piece:

Find a long piece of fabric the length and breadth of a printed scarf.  You don’t need to buy this, try looking through old, discard clothes which you can cut up.  Gauzy or lacy fabrics work particularly well for this activity. 

Using strong white glue, stick each of your collected items onto the fabric – your child can arrange these as he or she pleases, randomly or forming a pattern.  Once dry, the fabric can be used as a scarf or can be displayed in the child’s bedroom.

If you prefer not to use fabric, you can make a traditional nature collage using thick card and white glue.  You can use plain white card or get arty by experimenting with different colors.

Nature Collage - A Pre-School Activity

As before, take your child on a nature walk and collect items of interest.  Back home, you can glue the items onto your card.  Encourage your child to write or draw on the card too.  Try getting your child to look through magazines to find pictures of the items you’ve collected which can then be added to the collage.

The great thing about any kind of collage is that there are no rules – meaning that your child’s imagination is in the driving seat!