Now we’re partnering with schools and school districts to bring the program into the regular school year
In the interest of reaching all students of all abilities, economic means and interests, we are now working with schools and school districts to set up STEM Week in schools during the school year. STEM Week transforms classrooms into STEM learning labs where regularly scheduled classes are replaced by a hands-on STEM curriculum taught by the school’s own teachers. Over the five days, teachers and students work in teams to solve real-world problems in a classroom where hands-on experimentation, critical thinking, and collaboration, will be encouraged and used as teaching techniques to engage and inspire students. Students are introduced to the engineering design process and are shown how STEM impacts their own lives everyday.
Crucial to the success of STEM Week is the professional development for the school teachers. i2 Learning provides two-day face-to-face training for teachers from all disciplines including ELA and special education, as well as a series of webinars and online tools for further teacher support. Feedback from the over 1,300 teachers who have been through our professional development has been overwhelmingly positive and has shown to have a lasting impact on their teaching beyond the five days of STEM Week.
In just four years, i2 programs have run at over 100 schools, with more joining each month. While it will take time to measure the long-term impact of these immersion programs, there have already been a number of successes.
Teachers report that children show a greater sense of engagement at school during STEM Week. Parents have seen a stronger interest in STEM-related after-school programming such as Robotics or Maker Fairs from their kids. And an independent evaluation of the program by Education Development Center (EDC) showed “a statistically significant increase in interest in STEM and STEM-related fields after completing STEM Week.”
As for the girl who inspired the program, after four weeks of camp, she told her mother as she was going to bed one night: “I want to go to MIT and become an engineer.”