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#STEMLens: We Want to See What You See!

We invite you to share your #STEMlens – a fun, engaging, STEM education challenge designed to get us all to share our unique STEM mindsets with each other on social media. Our goal is to humanize and to personalize the study of science, technology, engineering, and math. This is a free and fun activity for teachers, out of school educators, parents, families, elementary, middle, and high school students to do anywhere and anytime! #STEMLens invites students of all ages, educators and parents to notice what’s around them and to practice looking at the real world through their STEM lens. 

Why?

This is a great way to interact with your children/students during the quarantine – where you can encourage children to learn by exploring their real world environment as opposed to staying glued to their screen! You can make it a game or a challenge. A #STEMlens scavenger hunt, anyone? 

You can put your own spin on it – working on fractions? Go find some in the real world around you – no matter where you are! Take one or more pictures that highlight your observations and questions relate to real world objects/spaces and fractions. There are no limits at all. Here’s your chance to add an educational spin to family outings and a fun spin to academic topics! Together, let’s build a #STEMlens library of personalized images that can inspire all our youth and that educators everywhere can draw from as they work with children in K-12 classrooms.

What if I’m not good at Math, Science, or STEM?

No need to be an expert in math or science! We want you to put on your photographer and explorer hats – take a look at your home, backyard, neighborhood, favorite building, tree, park, strip mall or absolutely anything! We do not expect you to solve algebraic equations, make detailed calculations, or even have a formal STEM background to join the movement. Of course, if you are inspired to make connections to your formal learning experiences, we’d love to see! This is open to all adults and children with a wide range of interests and skills! Capturing YOUR unique way of looking at YOUR environment will help all children understand that there is a tremendous diversity in ways of connecting STEM to varied spaces, objects, artworks, activities…you name it! In this way, they will understand that each of them has a good deal to offer in terms of their unique STEM understandings, observations, connections, and questions!

What Do I Do?

To participate, simply take a picture or a short video of an object/structure in the built or natural environments that sparked curiosity for you. Next, add your observation or question as a simple caption, and tag us when you post on facebook at @talkstem and on instagram at @talkingSTEM. For photographers out there, capture some beautiful images and share with us, together with your STEM mindset.

Here are the simple steps for you to take part in the #STEMLens movement:

  1. Notice a real world object in your environment and take a good photo. Examples include an artwork, a plant, an architectural element, a pattern, a natural phenomenon.
  2. Observe the object or phenomenon. Allow your questions and observations to run in your mind. Select one or two of these that you find most interesting.
  3. Mark up your image on your smartphone so that viewers can easily see what you see. Examples are shown below. Add your question/observation. Your question can relate to math, science, engineering, technology as well as arts and humanities (any combination or a focus on a particular discipline – we’re not picky!)
  4. Share on social media. Use #STEMLens and tag us: facebook @talkSTEM twitter/instagram @talkingSTEM

Founder Dr. Dhingra shares her #STEMlens when watching her dog, Pi, wagging her tail.

The goal is to have these learning moments in your own backyard, without having to be in a specific STEM venue. At talkSTEM, we believe every child is a STEM child and every space is a STEM space. We encourage all students, families, and educators to see the world through a STEM lens. #STEMlens also provides the opportunity to introduce STEM into your young student’s lives to foster a STEM mindset. The following images are examples of talkSTEM team member #STEMlens submissions.

We hope to start a collection of STEM observations from diverse perspectives, outside of the STEM classroom. Teachers, Parents, students of all ages – please share your photos anywhere you are. Parks, neighborhoods, shopping malls, school campuses, museums, zoos, and all other out of school learning spaces, let’s all share what we see with each other. We invite you to look at your world with a STEM lens, and have fun! All you need is your smartphone and your mind! We can’t wait to see what you see!

More examples of recent #STEMLens submissions:

Please sign up to join our community and receive notifications about new content. We share perspectives of thought leaders in the STEM learning ecosystem as well as talkSTEM’s original content. It’s all designed to engage and inspire our youth and to grow strong STEM ecosystems everywhere!

talkSTEM promotes conversation about the diversity of STEM and STEAM thinking in our daily lives, in our communities, and in our world

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