How does the mass of the car affect the speed and force of the car? Middle School students discover the relevance for math to race car driving
Science is one piece of the whole puzzle that is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM. Science needs mathematics and technology to help solve problems. Engineering provides design solutions. Together, they are a powerful way to encourage curiosity, provide practical tools for understanding the natural and man-made world that students live in, and together they help students to develop skills in critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity.
Where do we see practical examples of STEM on television? Programs that highlight knowledge and skills in STEM include Mythbusters, How Its Made, Cake Boss, Renovation Realities, and even American Choppers! Parents don't have to be engineers or scientists to help students engage in thinking about how things are made, the considerations behind making things a certain way, and the importance of both the academic and technical skills necessary to make products and processes that are safe, not harmful for people or the environment and that have a benefit to our communities and society as a whole. While shows like Mythbusters have a whole lot of fun exploring myths and testing hypotheses, they also highlight the importance of understanding how to structure an experiment, test a hypothesis, and adjust when needed to get the information needed to prove or disprove a particular myth. These skills when applied to STEM learning can help students regardless of their chosen career field. Students who understand how to think critically, solve problems and be creative will be on their way to success in a fast-changing, high-tech world.
Check out the video from TED.com and the web links below for more exploration resources: