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STEM is a hot subject in education for all of the right reasons and colleges are rewarding students who have STEM credits on their transcript. We are putting Think Like an Engineer; the course from Innovators Tribe, on our transcript for .25 credit hours after we finish our review period. The best part is that both of my sons can use the same course individually or together. We can have our own STEM lab right here at home.
What is STEM?
In general, classroom education has done a poor job of creating innovative thinkers over the last seventy years. Science and technology fields are seeing a drop in well qualified applicants to their programs every year. Something needed to be done to end this stagnation. Schools needed to change in a hurry, so they created a program to encourage curriculum choices in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The truth is that policy moves progress and putting STEM programs into the schools helps teachers fund and utilize programs in their class rooms.
What does this mean for homeschoolers?
Homeschool students have always tested higher in technology, math and science over the national standard. One of the reasons is that this new way of learning being introduced in the public school system, is not new to homeschoolers. Teaching innovation and problems solving is often a large part of what homeschoolers do. This means that we have a chance to really showcase the unique ways our kids have been able to learn and get those experiences recognized in a way that mean transcript credit and future college moniey for our kids.
How does STEM mean college money? STEM Scholarships!
This year is the first year I have had to fill our college forms and applications. One thing I saw on every application was questions about STEM activity and participation. Robotics clubs, and groups with a STEM focus were rewarded with Scholarship dollars on sites like RaiseMe. Schools are looking for kids who have had real STEM experience. Courses like Think Like an Engineer from Innovators Tribe give us an easy way to earn STEM credits in a way that can make the transcript process painless when it is time to fill out those applications for your student.
Do you feel like your are behind the trend?
Not a problem. Innovators Tribe has the courses that will not only give your child the credit hours but will have them thinking like a problem solver. Each course is 30 hours long and is packed full of relevant material and includes the 3D CAD software access you need to complete their projects. These programs are not little kiddie versions. These are real design programs and the skills your child will learn is real work skill building.
Each course comes with 18 months of access AND the software is yours to keep. Every minute your child works is not wasted because they can keep creating long after they have kicked off their training wheels.
What will they learn and how?
My son logged on and started with the Introduction to Engineering portion. The video segments in this portion are short and the hands on activities will take more time. The boys had several challenges. One was to use specific materials to create a support the would keep a stack of books one inch off the table top. Then add books to see how many it would hold. This got the whole household thinking of ways to improve the original idea.
For a second imagine all of the kids working together to solve a problem. This is what a Tribe of Innovators looks like. These are the kids that build bridges over creeks and then try to ride their bikes over it. They stack as many cookies on a napkin as possible because that was the allowable surface. They might take the hinges apart to see how they work or are obsessed with how-to YouTube videos. If your kids likes to challenge the norm you might have an innovator. The goal at our house is to harness that power for good, before the kids use it to make me crazy.
What if I don’t know how to teach STEM?
Enrolling in a course is a great way to do two things.
1. Find out if your kids in a natural innovator.
Some kids are going to jump right into the course and love the challenges. They are going to thrive on the ability to try again and again to make their idea work. They are going to love that this is REAL school.
Your child will have the structure to help him learn that failure is an important part of the process. You might have a kid who hates to try new things or can not accept failure. An Innovators Course gives them a safe place to learn about experimentation and the process of trial and error. Failure is part of the learning process. I wrote a whole article about it for Sonlight and I will add the link to the comments section.
2. Teach your kids to use high-capacity, real world, technology tools.
The Innovators Tribe doesn’t just throw your child into a cheap program nor do they leave them with too little instruction to real get a feel for what the program does. The CAD program has a two hour training course, broken up to help your student do everything that is asked of them and like I said, you keep the program software so your can keep innovating and creating.
Creating Projects, Creates Creative Thinkers
The boys are very excited about their upcoming projects. In the course of the lessons they will design a bridge, a roller coaster and learn about Nano technologies in design. This is a lot of creative thinking and experimenting for your middle to high schooler.
When they are done the have access to the BONUS COURSE; Think Like an Innovator, that will have them applying the skills they just learned to everyday life. Who knows where this could lead your student.
Other Courses from Innovators Tribe include Think Like an Architect, and Think Like a Carpenter is launching soon. I just read an article about a 13 year old who built his first “Tiny House” and could see a kid using the Carpentry course to do the same thing.
Right now the are having a 35% off sale until 11-11-17 so check it out if you want to add this to your second semester plans.