June 06, 2016

STEM Studio: Changing the way STEM is taught in the classroom

This summer, the Tiger Woods Learning Center is excited to hold our STEM Studio day camp. Classes are filled, and soon students will take part in an extensive array of hands-on workshops. They’ll have the opportunity to build and launch their own rockets, play with polymers to grow crystals, learn the connections between plants and the weather, experiment with aerodynamics to design cars powered by mousetraps and, since it’s summer, make some ice cream! Middle and high school students will get a chance to code their own video games, design their dream house and model bridges, build air-powered cars, as well as conduct chemistry experiments that test the laws of nature. 

While our focus has been, and will always be, providing students with engaging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum that ignites a passion for learning and a career that carries them through college and beyond, we are limited by how many students can pass through our doors. However, by bringing our style of instruction and our student development model to classroom teachers and other educators, we can help enable and empower them to inspire students in classrooms around the nation and the world.

TWLC will begin to expand our professional development program as part of our first STEM Studio. STEM-focused curriculum highlights the interconnected nature of these various fields, and fosters a multidisciplinary mindset and approach to a problem or topic. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) take a similar, holistic approach to understanding scientific concepts that meshes well with STEM curriculum.

Teachers from the local area and some as far away as New York will receive their own hands-on experience with developing and delivering STEM curriculum over two week-long sessions — one for upper elementary, and one for middle and high school. Teachers will come for the day to take part in the same hands-on, experiential, STEM-focused activities (such as rocketry, computer programming, engineering and earth sciences) as the students, and take these lessons back to their own classrooms. They will take their STEM Studio experiences and adapt their own existing curriculum to make STEM a bigger part of their classrooms.

STEM Studio, and programs like it, are instrumental in helping students make connections between concept and application in all subjects. Each STEM discipline excels when it builds and gets inspiration from the others, much like we excel when we work together toward our goals here at TWLC.

Champions of the unexpected for 20 years.