THE HISTORY OF
How is anyone inspired to start a new project?
Truthfully - it begins with identifying a need or gap in services and then choosing to become the person, or people, who want to fill that need.
That is what STEM Starter is all about - filling a need.
In 2018, a college student studying Physics & Philosophy, identified a gap in STEM education and decided to do address this community need. She noticed STEM education of elementary school students was lacking the support they required for an effective STEM education, specifically in under-served and under-represented communities. Additionally, she noted that with support, guiding materials, and creativity there is no reason why the STEM fields cannot be introduced, taught, and encouraged at home.
That is where STEM Starter began.
A unique quality that every scientist, engineer and mathematician shares is the ability to ask questions. With that said, nobody asks more questions than children! Therefore, it is our belief that children are natural born STEM students and it is our hope that STEM Starter will assist students, parents, teachers, and caregivers in nurturing that wondrous curiosity.
STEM Starter is an educational website that simply provides STEM activities and experiments for students interested in the STEM fields. More importantly, these activities do not require fancy equipment, membership, or the purchase of expensive supplies. On the contrary, STEM Starter explores our everyday activities and then demonstrates exactly how those activities fit into one of the STEM fields. For example, STEM Starter answers questions such as:
- When you twist a lid off a jar, why does the lid move up?
- Can you measure the amount of square feet in a room?
- Can you build your own balance?
- Can you make glasses "sing"?
- Why do circle wheels work better than square wheels on a bicycle?
Every STEM Starter activity includes the following: A "Problem Question" to be explored; Encourages the development of a Hypothesis; Outlines the experiment with instructions and corresponding pictures; Provides a post Q&A opportunity that includes an explanation section for parents, caregivers, and teachers. Additionally, there are expansion sections that assist adults by challenging and encouraging their budding STEM student to explore their area of interest even further all while providing nurturing support. The goal of STEM Starter is to harness the STEM of everyday activities and demonstrate to children that they're currently living in, surrounded by, and utilizing science, technology, engineering, and math; all they need to do - is ask questions.
Parents, Caregivers, Adults
First, allow us to take a moment to say thank you.
Thank you for your devotion to children and their education.
All of us at STEM Starter recognize that the education of our youth begins with parents, caregivers, adults and teachers. We also understand that a hectic lifestyle, whether it’s in the kitchen or the classroom, doesn't always lend itself to the ability to research, develop and conduct a STEM activity; so, we've done it for you. Well… most of it.
"STEM Starter doesn't reinvent the wheel; we show how it works."
STEM Starter doesn't require parents or educators to purchase fancy, expensive equipment or chemicals in order to learn science, technology, engineering or math. Rather, STEM Starter begins at the roots of the STEM fields and demonstrates just how science, technology, engineering and math are woven into our everyday lives. Through practical, inexpensive and easily implemented experiments, STEM Starter demonstrates that we live in environments overflowing with STEM; we just need to take a moment to recognize and embrace this fact.
Secondly, STEM Starter provides you with helpful documents ranging from The Scientific Method to building a Hypothesis. When you have a moment, we invite you to review Resources section for additional information and guidance.
Lastly, we want to take a moment to address parents, caregivers and teachers who support students in the special need community. The Founder of STEM Starter has loved ones who are a part of this community and she is devoted to supporting the educational needs and curiosities of children who are on the Autism spectrum. While our STEM Experiments are linked to general over arching Individual Education Plans (IEP) goals; we realize that there is much work to be done to support students within this specific community. We encourage feedback, questions and constructive criticism so we can continue to update and provide high quality activities that support the educational goals of these students.
Once again, thank you for you dedication to children, to students and to the STEM fields; but most of all, thank you for your commitment to encouraging a vibrant inquisitiveness in our children and their future!
"The roots of STEM exist in our everyday lives - all we need to do is dig."
- Shannon Brindle
STEM Starter Founder