STEM Week Oregonis Part of Remake Learning Days Across America
May 6, 2021 – Remake Learning Days Across America (RLDAA) returns this spring in 17+ regions, launching more than 700+ innovative learning events to engage caregivers, parents and kids around the country.
Oregon’s network of regional STEM Hubs will host more than 100 events during this learning festival between May 8 and 16, 2021. These events are designed for parents and caregivers to learn alongside their kids and offer relevant and engaging educational experiences for youth of all ages (pre-K through high school). The majority of events are free and are offered virtually, in-person or in hybrid models.
Oregon’s festival of events will capture the themes of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math and more and include in-person and virtual events. Partners from the Oregon Coast STEM Hub are contributing to lead tours, host events, and offer STEM career connections. Examples from our region include:
Make a Terrific Terrarium – May 8, 10:30AM – 1:00PM Children ages 5-12 are invited to the Siletz Public Library to make their own terrarium using soil, moss, rocks, and plants. Learn about how to help your terrarium thrive.
RCRV: Building Ships for Scientific Research– May 10 at 1:00PM Through this Oregon Connections Industry Chat, high school students will hear from a STEM professional about the equipment used to study the ocean from ships at sea.
Growing Engineers and Marine Scientists– May 12 at 4:00PM Students in grade 6-8 are invited to explore careers in science policy and conservation biology by attending this free Oregon Sea Grant student webinar .
Find a complete list of events and registration information here
Oregon’s regional STEM Hubs create equitable access to real-world STEM experiences for learners across Oregon, igniting students’ passion for STEM. Oregon’s STEM Hub network was honored as a Learning Forerunner in education by Finland’s HundrED.org in 2021.
Remake Learning Days Across America is led by Remake Learning (RL), a network that ignites engaging, relevant, and equitable learning practices in support of young people navigating rapid social and technological change. National partners of RLDAA include PBS Kids, Digital Promise, Common Sense Media, Learning Heroes and Noggin. RLDAA is generously supported by The Grable Foundation, The Hewlett Foundation, Schmidt Futures, Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ford Foundation. Visit remakelearning.org for more information or follow RL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information specifically on Remake Learning Days Across America, visit remakelearningdays.org or follow RLDAA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the hashtag #RemakeDays.
Are you tired of all of the screen time associated with work and school? Are you looking for simple STEM activities that you can do at home with your family? Check out the daily challenges from STEM Week Oregon. There’s an activity for each day of the week!
STEM Week Oregon is a week-long event that takes place annually in May. This state-wide movement celebrates and engages communities in activities involving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Although this year’s STEM Week was officially celebrated May 9-17, you and your family can participate in daily STEM challenges any time!
This spring has been unusual, to say the least. A lot of us have been stuck indoors and spending a lot of our time looking at screens. That’s one reason why Oregon’s STEM Hubs decided that the theme for this year’s STEM Week would be:
STE(A)M Unplugged: Explore your world, Design your world.
Below are seven daily challenges – one for each day of the week. Each is suitable for the whole family, suggests using materials that you already have at home, and doesn’t require you to be on a computer!
Take Something Apart Take something apart and try to re-purpose the pieces into something new! Some of the items taken apart by last week’s participants include a vacuum cleaner, bicycle wheel, computer, model locomotive, feathered costume, skateboard, and the front suspension of a Jeep.
Notice and Wonder Find a live animal and observe its characteristics. Write about or draw what you notice. Ask any questions you have about what you see. For more ideas about how to make and record observations of the natural world, see this FAMILY STEM blog post.
Build a Paper Structure Using only paper and tape, create a freestanding structure that is at least one foot high, and can hold a small stuffed animal or toy. Think about what shapes will work best. Could you build a structure that holds a heavy book instead of a stuffed animal? Try it!
Backyard Scavenger Hunt What can you find outside? Explore the outdoors by staying in one place and making deep observations, or search for a list of natural items that could be discovered near your home.
Take a walk from your home to a place you’ve never been before, or try making a map for other members of your family to follow.
Create Shadow Art Line up objects and trace their shadows. Even if the sun is not out, you can still do this activity using a strong light inside. Once you start noticing shadows, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. What makes shadows longer or larger? Write down some thoughts and test your ideas. You can also create a profile portrait or tell a story with a shadow puppet show!
Paper Airplanes and Flight What is the best way to fold a piece of paper to make a paper airplane fly the highest, the farthest, or the fastest?
For this project, use paper from your recycle bin! If you need more design ideas, consult online resources like Fold N Fly, but then unplug once again to generate more iterations and test your design. Make this challenge meaningful by creating an engaging and real-world context. For example:
“Mary the librarian wants to share a message with a coworker who is shelving books on the other side of the library, 15 feet away. However, they are both practicing social distancing and neither wants to speak loudly and disturb others who are working. Design a paper airplane to help Mary send her message.”
Each of the daily challenges described above provide opportunities to use different skills and disciplines, just like most real-world activities. Looking back, how did your activity involve science or engineering, the “S” and “E” parts of STEM? Educators have identified eight practices that people use in science and engineering. Did you do any of these things when you were engaged in one of the daily challenges?
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Think about how you used math during your challenges. For example, did you count, take measurements, make graphs, or make alterations to scale, proportions, or angles?
How did you use technology in these unplugged challenges? What tools did you use to make structures, dismantle objects, and research new designs?
Finally, you may have noticed the (A) tucked in to the word STEM in this year’s theme. “A” stands for art, which is another subject that can be found throughout disciplines. Did you draw, build, or use other forms of art in your challenges?
STE(A)M FOR ALL
No matter how old you are or whether or not you become (or already are) a STEM professional, everyone can participate in activities involving science, technology, engineering, art, and math! Our daily lives are full of STEM, and there will always be opportunities to use STEM to learn more about our world.
Scientists are always wondering about the world around them and those curiosities are what inspire them to learn more. Here’s what scientists from South Slough Reserve were wondering during the 2020 STEM Week What Are You Wondering Wednesday Challenge.
CELEBRATING AND SHARING
During the 2020 STEM Week Oregon (May 9-17), thousands of families and educators across the state participated in one or more of these challenges, and their activities populated the online STEM Week map. Some participants (including folks from Tillamook, Newport, Florence, and North Bend) even received prizes when their names were drawn at random.
STEM doesn’t stop when STEM Week is over! Share your family’s activities with the Oregon Coast STEM Hub and the rest of the state any time through social media using the hashtag #STEMWeekOR.
Good luck, and have fun Exploring and Designing Your World!
Cait Goodwin is a Special Projects Coordinator at Oregon Sea Grant, and is also the Communications Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.
The 2020 Family STEM series is brought to you by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub and its partners as part of its Let’s Keep Learning! Initiative. You can find more resources, live events, and lesson on our website: https://oregoncoaststem.oregonstate.edu/