Transforming Washburn School into a STEM focused institution:
Students need a place where they can make mistakes in finding solutions for problems without massive risk of dropping their grades. Exposure to risk and failure is essential for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education because it reflects what happens in real world STEM careers. We often have students on a tight schedule with ultra-structured lessons guided towards getting enough grades in by the end of a semester. Students need much more time to figure out solutions during their school day. Students should not be doing everything for grades and honor awards. They should be able to puzzle through questions and research without being penalized with bad grades. In other words, we should not be teaching for a test only. Learning through making mistakes gives students a better understanding of the skills needed for STEM success and to transform Washburn into a STEM-focused school.
Starting in 2017-2018, we hope to transform our school's spaces to align with STEM education. Experts agree that we must prepare students for jobs that do not even exist today. Furthermore, jobs that exist today will not even exist in the next decade. Automation and robotics will take over many career sectors. Therefore students will have to learn how to be pioneers and leaders in STEM fields to be able to withstand the massive change we will be facing in our society.
Ways that we will transform our school to align with STEM:
- Robotics Lab
- Have more students join our robotics team
- Investments in new technological infrastructure
- Changes in Classroom Learning Spaces
- Teacher training through STEM and incorporation of Neuroscience Education Research for use in the classroom
- Electives class surrounded around STEM and STEM entrepreneurship
- Use of technologies in the classroom (Augmented Reality, Mobile Apps)
- Start Washburn's own Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) (Spanish: Sociedad de Ingenieros Hispanos Profesionales). SHPE also offers membership to students passionate about science, technology, and mathematics. Link below :