Genspace STEM Event Recap
It was Saturday morning, and I was uneasy about our #STEM program as I began explaining the procedure.
No matter how lively I was, #students seemed a bit disengaged.
This changed when our volunteers truly connected with students:
While we were sketching a draft of our #microbe paintings, a student and volunteer emphatically debated about whether Dragon Ball Z was the best #cartoon ever. Later they battled over who the best rapper was.
After laughs and mutual respect were exchanged, I noticed a major change. EVERY student was engaged with the program content!
Later, I reflected on the power and effectiveness of informal STEM #education. We created an environment for students that didn't feel like #school. Once they felt free and open, they soaked up information like sponges!
If our volunteers and students didn't have equally formidable knowledge about cartoons and rappers, would the same 'big-bro' connection be established?
So much of learning and retention seems to depend on intangible factors like connection and shared cultural identity.
These approaches should be a key component of after-school and summer programs. They are also worth considering in traditional classroom settings!
Huge thanks to Genspace!
cc: David Chuchuca