talkSTEM is dedicated to exposing youth to embracing the “math everywhere” concept and breaking down the stigmas of who should have access to STEM learning. Our mission is to develop future generations of female and ethnically diverse STEM leaders by inspiring today’s youth to adopt a STEM mindset. We create unique, engaging programs that are freely accessible to students and teachers. North Texas Giving Day is a wonderful initiative that helps to generate conversation about our community needs and the work that is being done to address them. Today, it is more important than ever to acknowledge and address the rampant inequity when it comes to access to high-quality STEM/STEAM education that is relevant to all children. And yet, we know that without competency in quantitative literacy and without a STEM mindset, most 21st century professions are closed to our children. Most professions today have a STEM component whether or not they are categorized as “STEM” careers. To support our work, please click here.
This short video is part of a 3-video playlist, walkSTEM@Mount Auburn STEAM Academy, that was produced by these elementary school students and their teachers. You can find this playlist here, in the Create Your Own walkSTEM section of our Youtube platform. talkSTEM provides guidance, methodology, and the platform for user-generated content. We aim to build out this platform, walkSTEM Academy, so that we have thousands of students and teachers of all ages sharing about the fascinating, inquiry-based STEM concepts they see in their real world environments. Imagine all these students taking pride in their contributions, celebrating their unique ways of seeing their spaces, and recognizing the tight connections between playgrounds and STEM, and much more! We need your help to make this vision a reality.
We are building a STEM Learning Ecosystem that 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. This strategy of building STEM Learning Ecosystems has been recognized in a December 2018 federal report as the Number 1 strategy in reaching children. We are doing this work deliberately, strategically, and purposefully. We welcome partnerships with all groups who are involved with reaching pre-K-12 children both in and out of school.
We hope you will join our campaign to Engage, Educate and Empower. Here’s how we do it:
We are working with students, parents, educators and community groups throughout Dallas to increase the number of female and ethnically diverse STEM leaders. We know that STEM-related jobs are the future. We need to ensure that this generation of students see themselves are people who can do and enjoy math and science. We have produced more than 160 videos involving nearly two dozen partners at venues throughout Dallas – at schools, on college campuses, at local malls, in local parks and in neighborhoods and communities. Please subscribe to our freely accessible and commercial-free YouTube channel, walkSTEM Academy. Thanks to our partnership with Dallas ISD, walkSTEM Academy has been made accessible to every single campus and is now available to all 159,000 students and 10,000 teachers. Thanks to our partnership with organizations like Dallas Public Library, our free program, walkSTEM Explorers is accessible to all families.
Further, we are grateful to contributions of prizes from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Nasher Sculpture Museum, Dallas Zoo, Texas Discovery Gardens, Dallas Arboretum, Trinity River Audubon Center, and NorthPark Center so that all children ages 5-14 can participate in this fun, free, virtual scavenger hunt that takes them through our city and helps them adopt a STEM mindset.
The two pillars of our programs are Community Engagement and Educator Professional Development. Community Engagement involves working directly with people in the community: families, children, parents, mentors, etc. through both live events (math festivals, walkSTEM tours, after school clubs, etc.) and through our digital platform (video libraries of walkSTEM tours, on-line STEM challenges, etc.) The walkSTEM Initiative includes a collection of walking tours that highlight STEM concepts in public and private spaces (campuses, parks, neighborhoods, etc.) Through Educator Professional Development, we work with educators in schools and informal learning centers (museums, zoos, etc.). talkSTEM is currently a registered partner to Dallas ISD and will soon be providing professional development to teachers, principals, and instructional coaches at pre-K and up levels.
The talkSTEM Learning Suite provides a variety of tools to empower children, parents, educators and community groups to create their own experiences. The Create Your Own walkSTEM Initiative and the Pi Day Math Festival together with our Do-It-Yourself Math Festivals are designed to foster engagement and identity so that all children see themselves as having a voice in STEM. We want them to see themselves as part of the creative agency that is STEM or STEAM!!
These programs give the participants the ownership of creating their own STEM walking tours and their own math festivals. We are empowering students to see themselves as STEM explorers by engaging them directly in their own neighborhoods.
Community Needs that Drive our Work
The need to build our STEM ecosystem is real. Although women make up 50% of the workforce, they only constitute 28% of the science and engineering workforce nationally. Hispanics, blacks, 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). Here is more detailed information about our community needs and our strategy in the Dallas area.
Here’s how your support will help talkSTEM expand its reach and change the narrative:
– Create more interactive, educational videos in more locations around Dallas
– Provide financial support for afterschool talkSTEM Clubs in communities
– Conduct training for pre k-12 and out of school educators to use talkSTEM resources to expand the number of young women and ethnically diverse individuals who do and love math and science.
Please email me if you want to learn more. My email is Koshi@talkSTEM.org and I am the founder of the talkSTEM nonprofit organization. Thank you for your support.