talkSTEM is participating in this year’s Giving Tuesday DFW. Giving Tuesday DFW is a nationwide fundraising event that takes place on social media. We appreciate the opportunity to share about our goals and our work. Thank you for your interest in giving to talkSTEM. You can find our giving page here.
talkSTEM is a non-profit organization based in Dallas, TX that provides freely accessible STEM education resources and events for our community. At talkSTEM, we believe every child is a STEM child and every space is a STEM space. The key goal of talkSTEM is to support women and underrepresented communities in STEM education and encourage all students to develop a STEM mindset. This is a growth mindset that goes against prevailing stereotypes of math and science geniuses who possess innate skills that most of us do not have access to. The reality today is that we are all STEM people and STEM (we definitely include the Arts, Humanities & Design Thinking) is a broad range of human activities. Most jobs that will allow our children to lead choice-filled lives require a STEM mindset – one where inquiry, resilience, and collaboration are critical factors. Currently we face a tremendous STEM skills and mindset gap in the workforce. Only by working together and thinking broadly can we come up with creative solutions to the problems around equity in STEM education in our communities. We know that STEM-related careers are the fastest growing sector of jobs being created, and that many of our nation’s and planet’s largest problems can only be addressed using STEM-based tools. Let’s make sure that all our children’s minds can be engaged in these problems and let’s make sure that all our girls see themselves as bold, innovative leaders.
Unfortunately, our society’s demographics are currently heavily imbalanced when it comes to who has access to rich STEM experiences. Although women make up 50% of the workforce, they only constitute 28% of the science and engineering workforce. Hispanics, African Americans, and American Indians/Alaska Natives make up a smaller share of the science and engineering workforce (11%) than their proportion in the general population (27% of U.S. working age population). Having a greater number of women and ethnic minorities pursue STEM-related careers is of tantamount importance. talkSTEM’s mission to help increase the number of future female and ethnically diverse STEM leaders by helping today’s youth adopt a STEM-mindset, which is the first and perhaps most important step in pursuing the study of STEM.
How do we correct this imbalance?
Helping educators spark an interest in these subjects for more students (especially women and ethnically diverse learners) is crucial to our future success when Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, and quantitative literacy are required for the success of almost all industries.
Through Educator Professional Development, we work with educators in schools and informal learning centers (museums, zoos, etc.) to support their responsibility for creating interest in and understanding of science, math, engineering and math related careers. talkSTEM is currently a registered partner to Dallas ISD and will soon be providing professional development to teachers at pre-K and up levels. We also collaborate with professors at teacher preparation programs such as at SMU’s Simmons School of Education. Through our Community Engagement experiences, we reach varied groups and individuals across the metroplex.
talkSTEM is filling a void in our education system and our community. Exposing our citizens to the reality that STEM is a part of everything and giving educators tools to help them inspire more people to deepen their knowledge about the importance of STEM is our mission.
While we are partners with many educational institutions, which are funded by our tax dollars, our work must rely upon enlightened citizens who understand that our educators need support in these subject areas.
Would you consider helping educators and students who are traditionally less likely to have appropriate exposure to STEM topics and careers?
We are working strategically and in partnership with many wonderful organizations in North Texas in order to maximize impact. A strong STEM Learning Ecosystem features dynamic collaborations among schools, out-of-school time programs, STEM expert institutions (such as museums, science centers, institutions of higher education and STEM professional associations), the private sector, community-based organizations, youth and families. STEM Ecosystems were identified in a December 2018 federal report as the top strategy for improving STEM literacy. We are grateful for our local partners including: Dallas Museum of Art, SMU, UTD, UTSW, Dallas ISD, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Capital One, Girl Scouts of NE Texas, Dallas Arboretum, Trinity River Audubon Center, St Philips School and Community Center, Dallas Innovation Alliance,Dallas Zoo, Love Field Airport, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, Dallas Arts District, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Texas Discovery Gardens, and more are joining every day. Together, we can build high quality systems of learning opportunities across our communities, across all zip codes.
Most of our resources are freely accessible online. This allows for any student and family to use regardless of income and location. Informal and formal educators alike are supported by talkSTEM with walkSTEM programming. Our digital resources include:
- our YouTube channel with over 170 short videos, most of which allow you to go on virtual field trips to beloved Dallas area sites ranging from Fair Park to NorthPark Center, from SMU campus to UTSW campus, from Dallas Arts District to Dallas Public Library.
- our Educator and Student guides, accompanying most of our virtual field trip playlists, available on our YouTube channel
- our 21-day Fall STEAM Challenge, great for parents, homeschooling groups, early childhood, elementary, and middle school classrooms
- Growing Lab Girls, our freely downloadable collection of labs and activities for students in grades 7-12 in science, engineering, and ELA classes (inspired by Lab Girl written by Dr Hope Jahren)
The resulting impact is girls and underrepresented students are given the resources to explore the field of STEM, regardless of their economic status and location. These students will grow into future STEM roles who will develop innovative solutions. By investing in talkSTEM, you are investing in future STEM leaders and providing an opportunity for students to flourish and become comfortable with STEM. We hope you will consider giving to talkSTEM this year at the Giving Tuesday DFW. Click here to access our giving page.
Give to SHARE STEM resources to educators and students in your community.
Give to ENGAGE with your local schools, museums, libraries and more.
Give to INSPIRE girls and underrepresented communities to join STEM.