Inspire Kids to Study STEM with These Educational Resources

A new portal includes best practices, programs, and events

2 min read
A woman working on a robotic arm with a laptop in the background.
ISTOCKPHOTO

Careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are on the rise around the world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM careers were expected to grow by nearly 9 percent between 2017 and 2029. The Economic Times reported that India experienced a 44 percent increase in STEM jobs from 2016 to 2019. The Danish Technological Institute estimated that the European STEM labor market would grow by 12.1 percent from 2013 to 2025.

It is crucial to teach preuniversity students about the potential of STEM careers through outreach programs. To help increase the number of qualified professionals, IEEE has created the IEEE Pre-University Volunteer STEM Portal.

Initially developed for IEEE volunteers, the portal serves as a resource for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in STEM outreach. It provides educational tools and can help with creating programs, elevating existing ones, and much more. The portal also contains best practices, as well as programs and events from IEEE's global community of volunteers.

Since the portal's launch in January, more than 1,200 volunteers around the world have shared information about the 100-plus outreach events they have held. The events have collectively impacted more than 9,300 students, nearly 1,230 parents and about 560 teachers.

Here are some of the resources and features available on the website.

Outreach programs

These can be adapted for local communities.

  • Camp experiences. Sign students up for camp to unlock the fun in STEM.
  • Competitions and fairs. Learn about events that teach students how to conduct research, conceptualize a design, and build and test their devices.
  • Girls in STEM. These programs provide an understanding of the opportunities that exist for women.
  • Mentoring. Share personal stories with students to ignite their interest.
  • Teacher workshops. These are designed to assist educators in understanding how to best teach STEM topics.
  • Industry and company tours. Meet and speak with professionals in their workplace to learn about their jobs and the technologies they use.
  • Career days. These events offer students a chance to learn about STEM fields directly from engineering and technical professionals.
  • Parent program. Activities designed to introduce parents to STEM topics.

Volunteer resources

Do you need help enhancing your programs or curriculum? Or are you new to STEM outreach and want to learn how to develop and implement a program? The portal offers some helpful tools.

Share your events

Let IEEE volunteers around the globe learn from your successful preuniversity STEM programs. Anyone holding outreach events is able to post about them through the portal.

STEM SUMMIT

The first IEEE STEM Summit is scheduled for 1 to 6 November. The event is meant to help those interested in STEM outreach meet and hear from like-minded individuals. Attendees can learn about topics such as education through IEEE resources, and using data to tell the story of your STEM program's impact.

Register now.

The Conversation (1)
Evariste Galois 05 Nov, 2021

The story focuses on pre-university students, but the person in the photo looks like an adult woman.

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Can This DIY Rocket Program Send an Astronaut to Space?

Copenhagen Suborbitals is crowdfunding its crewed rocket

15 min read
Vertical
Five people stand in front of two tall rockets. Some of the people are wearing space suits and holding helmets, others are holding welding equipment.

Copenhagen Suborbitals volunteers are building a crewed rocket on nights and weekends. The team includes [from left] Mads Stenfatt, Martin Hedegaard Petersen, Jørgen Skyt, Carsten Olsen, and Anna Olsen.

Mads Stenfatt
Red

It was one of the prettiest sights I have ever seen: our homemade rocket floating down from the sky, slowed by a white-and-orange parachute that I had worked on during many nights at the dining room table. The 6.7-meter-tall Nexø II rocket was powered by a bipropellant engine designed and constructed by the Copenhagen Suborbitals team. The engine mixed ethanol and liquid oxygen together to produce a thrust of 5 kilonewtons, and the rocket soared to a height of 6,500 meters. Even more important, it came back down in one piece.

That successful mission in August 2018 was a huge step toward our goal of sending an amateur astronaut to the edge of space aboard one of our DIY rockets. We're now building the Spica rocket to fulfill that mission, and we hope to launch a crewed rocket about 10 years from now.

Copenhagen Suborbitals is the world's only crowdsourced crewed spaceflight program, funded to the tune of almost US $100,000 per year by hundreds of generous donors around the world. Our project is staffed by a motley crew of volunteers who have a wide variety of day jobs. We have plenty of engineers, as well as people like me, a pricing manager with a skydiving hobby. I'm also one of three candidates for the astronaut position.

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