Discovering STEM in Middle School


As a parent, Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The children return to school! I have a passion for learning and want to share a recent experience. My oldest son is now in middle school. Last spring we selected two STEM classes for his schedule. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. A couple days ago during “Back to School” night at the middle school, I began to wish that I was in the STEM Racing Challenge class with him. Education has come a long way since I was in the sixth grade (1976). The class is hands-on; students use a race car with weights. They build the cars, add weights, race the cars, record data and draw conclusions. The students are learning science without even knowing it!  Although we are only a couple weeks into the school year, my son is excited about going to school.

As a parent, I hope this continues. Both my husband and I have science related degrees; he has a B.S. in microbiology, and I have a B.S. in chemistry. We began our careers in laboratories. Now he is an IT project manager, and I am a marketer in the laboratory products market. We are able to apply our scientific thinking backgrounds to current work assignments. Science, stripped down to its basics, is just a method for figuring things out: you look at a situation, come up with a possible explanation, and try it to see if it works. If it does, great, if not, try something else. Repeat until you find an explanation that works.

I will continue to encourage my son to take STEM classes – secretly hoping he chooses to pursue a science degree in college. If he decides to major in economics or history, my husband and I will strongly advise him to take some college level science classes.

Below is a link to an article written by Chad Orzel, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, I found that addresses why every college student should take science classes. Please share with your family and friends with children.

Why Every College Student Needs To Take Science Courses

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About the Author : Jackie Williams

Jackie has a dual role at WHEATON. She serves as both a Product Manager for Liquid Handling and a Content Strategist for all WHEATON products. She has worked in the pharmaceutical, food & beverage and chemical industries prior to joining WHEATON. Her educational background includes a B.S. in chemistry from Ursinus College and an MBA from Rutgers University. Jackie brings products to market with insight gained from hands-on experience.

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