In smaller rural schools, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education can face troublesome barriers. In our K–12 district of 730 students, we have many of the common obstacles, including limited funds, no extra faculty, and an already overloaded class schedule. These three join arms to block us from using any of the really cool programs we’d like to. Other institutions sing praises of cutting-edge programs and share their successes. Meanwhile, rural schools are trying to figure out how to educate equally deserving kids in STEM.
Imagineering in a Box is designed to pull back the curtain to show students in middle school and high school how artists, designers, and engineers work together to create theme parks. The program, from Khan Academy, takes a behind-the-scenes look with Disney Imagineers and makes it an active learning experience by weaving together videos and exercises into lessons that culminate in student-driven projects.
All kindergarten through university-level students worldwide are invited to participate in Destination Imagination’s (DI) open-ended STEAM-based challenges by forming teams of up to seven members, selecting their preferred Challenge, and working together to develop a solution.
How many times have you listened to a lecture, memorized the information, and passed the exam only to be unable to recall most of what you learned just weeks later? How many times have you read a powerful story or watched a movie and been able to recall the plot years later? Information presented in a story doesn’t fade away after it’s been used; it sticks in the mind, ready to be accessed and used at any time.
Students who enter the Fluor Engineering Challenge have the chance to explore firsthand what it means to be an engineer and to collaborate with others to solve a problem and improve a solution. The Fluor Challenge is open to students in kindergarten through grade 12.