I’m STEM infused from spending three days in Denver, CO at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) STEM Forum. The STEM forum is a conference for educators to learn about STEM and how to apply it in and out of their classrooms. There were hundreds of vendors from around the United States sharing their educational expertise and STEM toys. The overall focus at the conference was the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and how they can be a part of a child’s everyday life.
The first evening I had the opportunity to listen to a panel of students discuss their likes and dislikes about STEM in their education. The students were from local Denver schools and grades ranged from 4th to 12th. One of the points they addressed is that they love Hands-On learning. I was so impressed with their goals, current projects, and the aspirations of these children. As I sat there along side other educators in the room I heard someone say, “ I wish she was my student.” Well, can’t they all be our students if we all work together?
At The STEM Shoppe we are dedicated to Hands-On Minds-On learning in each class we teach and every student we work with. There is always something to investigate, reverse engineer, or a STEM challenge to accept. We use the NGSS to integrate practices, core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. The children love the NGSS. After each class children are excited to show and tell their parents what they have learned. I can’t hide the smile on my face when I see the passion in a child’s eyes. I look down at their little hands and realize those hands will grow to become the hands of an astronaut, engineer, or maybe a paleontologist. I love being part of a profession that will change the world, one child at a time.
Delia Bayna, M.Ed. is an elementary educator and frequently provides professional development opportunities for K-6 teachers state-wide.