You probably already know that STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. When people think of STEM, they picture a man in a lab coat mixing chemicals. Or perhaps a boy building a robot comes to mind.
But as animal science educators, we know that STEM learning involves so much more! With every lesson we are connecting our youth to STEM. It’s happening all the time! When we understand the complexity of the variety of STEM skills and knowledge, we can start highlighting STEM learning in even more of our animal science and agriculture activities.
So how is animal science connected to STEM? This was the overarching question during the November 4-H e-Forum. In Fall of 2017, National 4‑H hosted three Volunteer e-Forums offering 90-minute virtual professional developments for 4-H staff and volunteers. These forums offered a variety of speakers, activities, idea sharing and networking. They were designed to offer tools and resources to lead successful programs for youth.
The November 2 forum titled “‘STEM’ming Into Animal Science, Growing True Leaders” offered targeted lesson plans and resources to highlight how educators can incorporate STEM in traditional animal science project programs and clubs. This means encouraging our leaders to check out the animal science project resources, then adding them to club plans and goals for 2018. This resource helps leaders create a targeted plan to highlight STEM learning within their club or program.
Offered in the attachments is a fact sheet that helps broaden the perspective of STEM, plus a resource list of lessons, manuals and handbooks including the highlighted lessons that were reviewed in the forum.
Also, a video recording of the full e-Forum is available here.
How your club is doing STEM? Let us know! We welcome guest bloggers to share your STEM success stories. Contact our blog editor at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute your stories!
Marissa Staffen, 4-H County Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension