This post was contributed by Jessie D’Amato Ford, Director of Events and Educational Programs at TopCoder
This whole STEM problem our country faces is really eye-opening for a plethora of reasons. Want proof? See our last STEM focused post that canvassed some shocking stats on the state of STEM Ed. Ever since I became the lead on NoNameSite.com, a TopCoder initiative and on-line gaming community based on games that teach specific STEM skills and core concepts, I have learned so much. In fact, without a formal background in education, I’ve learned a ton. Of all that I’ve learned, the most important with regards to STEM education are the number of resources and professionals making STEM awareness and education their full time gig. Numerous dedicated teachers, organizations, corporations, etc make our national STEM problem their challenge and they are hell-bent on solving it. Through a number of programs, resources, endorsements, and websites there is bound to be a way you too can make a difference in a young person’s life. I’ve compiled a list of some great resources and tips for encouraging the youngsters in your life to get involved with science, technology, engineering, or math related activities. Consider it an early Holiday gift, but it’s one that you will have to act on to see that it makes an impact. It may be cliché but the truth is the youths of today are the future of our tomorrows. Without further ado, I present 21 amazing STEM resources to share or even try out yourselves!
- 1. Change the Equation aims to help students in their post secondary education pursuit by focusing on widespread literacy in STEM subjects. They have recently launched new STEM careers exploration game that all high school students should check out.
- 2. STEM Fuse has this great game development competition going on now; good for gamers and developers alike.
- 3. National Girls Collaborative Project is brimming with resources, programs and information.
- 4. National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is another organization that has its own list of amazing resources. They are working hard to balance gender diversity in technology and computing.
- 5. STEM Connector is the one stop shop for STEM information.
- 6. Alice is educational software teaching computer programming and Scratch is another great way to learn programming.
- 7. Maker Faire is a fun way to get kids involved with entrepreneurship and science.
- 8. Girls Inc is an inspirational website for girls with a number of good resources.
- 9. Black Girls Code is on a mission to get more girls into the digital space.
- 10. Best STEM toys for girls. Think about these types of gifts this holiday season rather than the usual girly, pink stuff. A cool toy could bring a bright future.
- 11. Science Buddies is a wonderful resource, offering numerous science projects and activities.
- 12. PBS Kids Lab has a few STEM games targeted to a younger audience.
- 13. Math Moves U has a number of fun games and activities.
- 14. US Naval Academy Summer STEM program is a great opportunity for students already excelling and who want to do more.
- 15. Zero Robotics is also a great program for students to program SPHERES satellites inside the International Space Station (ISS). TopCoder is a part of this program and a great video was made to explain the program.
- 16. FIRST is a robotics program for students to inspire them to enter the fields of technology.
- 17. EdHeads offers cool games where you can do virtual surgeries and other health-science related activities.
- 18. Dot Diva encourages girls to enter the world computing and computer science.
- 19. Storming Robots offers programs in robotics technology.
- 20. CSEdWeek is happening right now and the amount of resources on their website is amazing. So if you’ve not signed the pledge yet, do so!
- 21. And to sum up this list, I’ll leave you with NoNameSite.com! The TopCoder STEM initiative that is worthwhile to share with all those kids 13-18 years old in your life for fun games and awesome prizes!
I could probably go on for days with all the cool things that are out there for kids in the STEMosphere. But this list gives you a good start. Just remember your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, students, and friends who are still deciding what to do with their respective lives. Even if you share just one of these references with one child it could set off a whole new adventure and life long love for technology and innovation! You never know, your email share, tweet or Facebook post could help spur the next Gates, Zuckerberg, or even Jobs, so please pass this amazing list on and thank you for your support of STEM initiatives.
image credit: http://educationviews.org/science-education-myths-that-keep-us-from-fixing-the-system/,