Engaging STEM professionals to spark student interest in STEM careers
Through its innovative STEM Like ME!SM suite of school-based programs and teacher grants, The STEM Foundation broadens students’ awareness and perceptions of STEM careers and the coursework and skills necessary to pursue them. First piloted in 2014, STEM Like ME!SM has served more than 17,000 students state-wide. In 2016, STEM Like ME!SM was recognized by Governor Jay Inslee as one of the state’s 21 best practices for career connected learning.
These programs offer turnkey solutions with program design, scheduling, volunteer recruiting, training, background checks, and recognition all handled by The STEM Foundation staff, taking the burden off teachers and ensuring a quality experience for volunteers, teachers, and students.
Currently the STEM Like ME!SM suite is comprised of four in-classroom programs and a Grants for Teacher program, outlined below:
STEM Like ME!℠
This program provides engaging, small-group interactions between STEM professionals and students. In a fast-paced format, students engage with STEM professionals, participate in engaging hands-on activities, and begin to create their own vision of a rewarding and purposeful career path.
This is a hybrid of the traditional internship model, allowing more students to gain relevant workplace experience. In-class activities are coupled with a workplace visit and problem-based learning. Students work in small teams with the host company staff and the classroom instructor to create and present solutions to a real-world challenge that correlates with classroom curriculum.
This program ties closely with students’ state-required High School and Beyond Plan. It provides students with tools to identify personal strengths, interests, talents and personality traits that can impact career selection and satisfaction. They explore necessary skill development and credential attainment strategies. Finally, students interact with STEM professionals to see how their unique traits align with their career role models.
Based on the engineering design process, students are introduced to a STEM professional who shares engineering career options, their personal career pathway journey and what inspired their career. Students also are introduced to the engineering design process and how it can be applied to solve everyday problems. A design challenge is linked to the program to engage students beyond the classroom experience.
Grants for Teachers
This program offers innovative educators funding to support volunteer engagement and STEM-related, career connected programing in their classrooms. Priority is given to classrooms that have students typically underrepresented in STEM careers. The varieties of programs funded are as diverse and creative as the educators who design them.
To learn more about any of these programs, contact us.