Welcome to another "M" is for Museum! Every month we highlight one museum in the U.S. and talk about what STEM activities and exhibits they have. This week, we are exploring Oklahoma! Before we talk about our chosen museum here are a few fun inventions from Oklahoma:
1. Tulsa’s Macnik Co. built the world’s first parking meters in 1935.
2. Gordan Matthews of Tulsa, patented the technology for voicemail in the 1970's.
3. Bob Dunn of Braggs, became one of the first musicians to record an electrically amplified instrument in 1935.
4. Clinton Riggs of Fairview invented the triangular Yield sign in 1950.
5. Perry, OK native, Ed Malzahn created the mechanical trencher that would replace hand tools when preparing the ground for crops. This machine launched the company "Ditch Witch" in 1949.
For our museum this week, we are exploring The American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City!
The American Banjo Museum highlights the beautiful combination of music and science by honoring the rich history, vibrant spirit and future of the banjo, a classic example of an acoustical device. The museum’s collection contains more than 400 instruments, recordings, film, video, printed music, instructional materials, ephemera and memorabilia associated with the banjo. The museum contains the largest collection in the world of banjos on public display. Here, If you get a chance to visit this museum, don't forget to take a picture and send it to us! Make sure to click the STEM Starter Student for more information about Oklahoma or the Banjo Museum!
Our STEM Starter Activities
Our STEM experiments are slightly different from others.
At STEM Starter one can find activities that do not require the purchase of expensive scientific chemicals or equipment. We do not ask you to: hand over your information; become a member or register for a monthly subscription. If you wish to download our E-book - fantastic; if not - you will continue to find phenomenal experiments on this website. Our STEM Starter activities are based on regular, everyday items that can be found in your home. We do not just provide the instructions for a STEM activity - we tell students why an activity works and where they can go for additional resources. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are not scary subjects that only a select few people can understand. These fields of study surround our daily lives and STEM Starter was created to help children recognize the STEM around them while demonstrating that they are capable of learning complex ideas and concepts. All they must do is ask questions and learn how to find the answers.
The goal of STEM Starter is perfectly captured in this quote from our founder.
"Stem Starter doesn't reinvent the wheel,
we show how it works."
Our volunteers are college students and volunteers who are dedicated to the STEM fields. We recognize that nurturing a genuine curiosity for the STEM fields can begin early in our lives and that is why our activities are designed for Pre-school, elementary and middle school students. Additionally, STEM Starter links our experiments and activities to Individual Educational Plans to assist families educating children who fall on the Autism spectrum.
We organized access to the activities by incorporating drop down menus via the Main Menu above. The activities are separated by Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Should you wish to conduct additional experiments based upon the season, you can access them via the STEM of the Season Tab. Here we provide free access to experiments that change with the season. Lastly, we are thrilled to announce that our first book of experiments; STEM Starter: Charting a New Course is available as a free download. This is an e-book that is only available via our website and it offers 52 experiments - that is one experiment per week for a year!
We hope you find this website, and the activities provided, helpful, encouraging, and inspiring. We know that nothing is perfect, so please make sure to rate the experiments and offer input and constructive criticism. We want to do our absolute best to offer budding STEM students a phenomenal product that compliments their ongoing educational goals.
"Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence."
Here are a few book resources to assist you with STEAM Projects: