Over the past few days, I have been evaluating and reevaluating my work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education. With over 10,000 hours delivering STEM content, I found myself asking “why am I doing this, why am I teaching STEM, why is this so important?” These are no random questions. They actually come at a time when strategic planning is the number one priority for my nonprofit organization (Uplift, Inc.).
Uplift, Inc. applied for and was selected to be a Fair Chance partner for the next year. Fair Chance is a nonprofit that helps organizations serving children in wards 5, 6, 7, and 8 in Washington, DC. Our projects certainly fit the bill. As a matter of fact, we are one of few organizations that provide STEM education to students in these wards (this is one of the main reasons why we serve this area).
As I begin to think about the future of Uplift and work with our Capacity Building Specialist, Anjali, I am compelled to ponder and answer many, many questions. Asking why and how we (should) do what we do (STEM education) is one of them.
So, as with one of the current trends in technology, I asked those around me to help answer the question (i.e. crowdsourcing). Below is a snapshot of some of the answers from a discussion on my Facebook wall…. Below that are some awesome clips that also help bring the message home.
So, yes, some of these points will be reflected in Uplift’s new mission statement. :)
After having this discussion, I also began perusing the web to find more answers, examples, etc. and found several interesting videos that show how knowledge of STEM concepts helped make products that we enjoy on almost every level of life. This along with some of the obvious reasons given (above and below) helped me answer the question why.
A thread on Linked_In made me realize that I’m clearly not the only person answering the question why, but also how.
Feel free to check out the Linked_In discussion and add your thoughts below!