Education is a journey -
STEM Starter is a map.

Spring into STEM!


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STEM Starter:

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This month in STEM History

 National Skills Trade Day in May

If you know STEM Starter then you know we LOVE the trades and this month offers all of us the opportunity to learn more about trade skills, how to become a tradesman all while celebrating those who work in these industries and help keep our nation running.  The First Wednesday in May is National Skilled Trades Day and it was launched by City Machine Technologies, Inc., in Youngstown, Ohio.  According to their website, “National Skilled Trades Day aims to raise awareness about the benefit of skilled trades jobs in the United States.” Throughout the nation businesses are facing the difficulty of having more jobs than people to fill them, particularly since nearly 53% of skilled tradesmen are nearing retirement age.  Trade Skills offer students the ability to, “go into trade jobs (and) face little to no debt when they enter the workforce,” an advantage that few of their collegiate peers can claim.  We hope you have an opportunity to visit their website at: https://www.cmtcompanies.com/national-skilled-trades-day/ and learn more about careers in the trades.  For parents of elementary school students, the website includes educational opportunities to teach more about the trades via coloring sheets, resume builder and books that highlight these wonderful careers.  Thank you, City Machine Technology, Inc. for helping to advance these wonderful career opportunities!

Textile Technology

One area that is easy to overlook is the impact that textiles have on our everyday lives.  From the ball caps on our heads to the shoes on our feet we are surrounded by varieties of fabric that make us look and feel fantastic – but at what cost?  This May 3rd is National Textile Day and it offers us a unique opportunity to not only recognize the value and the STEM of textiles but also to learn and acknowledge where the textile industry has failed and how you can make it better.   Everyone agrees that advancing science, technology, engineering, or math should never come at the cost of enslaving people, the safety of human beings, or the well-being of the environment; yet even in our modern day of awareness – these atrocities can still occur.  We sincerely hope that you take some time on May 3rd to learn how you can help the textile industry by supporting your local craftsmen and companies who are dedicated to the safety and well-being of their employees and respect the environment by sourcing their supplies locally thereby reducing our carbon footprint.  In the end it is the local artist, weaver, seamstress, tailor, and knitter that can respond immediately to the needs of the community and are the true fiber woven into our lives. 

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Every year in May we have the joy of celebrating the marriage of innovation and imagination.  May is National Inventors Month and we couldn’t be more thrilled than to use the STEM Starter platform to highlight the majesty of the mind on display in the form of wonderous inventions. To incorporate National Inventor’s Month into your curriculum at home or at school we highly recommend the book suggestions from Reading Rockets www.readingrockets.org as well as the following:

  1. Review the Scientific Method to encourage Critical Thinking and Diversity of Thought.

  2. Be Curious and let the Creativity Flow (Reading Rockets)

  3. Investigate everyday problems.The best inventions solve the simplest of problems.

  4. Make Mistakes and Never Stop Learning (Reading Rockets)

Make sure you take the time to explore the National Inventors Hall of Fame, United Inventors Association of America, The Academy of Applied Science, and Inventor’s Digest for more information about how you can incorporate National Inventors Month into your education plan.  For the reading list from Reading Rockets click the link below.

The Passion of Preservation

We are thrilled to join the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) and the National Park Service for National Preservation Month.  An entire month dedicated to two things we love at STEM Starter: STEM and History!  What a wonderful time of year to learn more about the STEM of preservation.  NTHP offers you 31 quick and easy ways to incorporate preservation into this month while learning more about how you can protect the past.  Do you enjoy watching home repair shows or going antique shopping? That’s wonderful – so do we!  We really enjoy the show Restored and the host Brett Waterman who states in the introduction – “Preservation is my passion.”  More than ever, we need modern day craftsman who can restore or preserve the art and craft of their predecessors.  Who knows, maybe one day someone will be working to restore or preserve something you created!  To learn more about how you can join us in preserving the past for the future go to www.savingplaces.org or www.nps.gov for more information.