Home‎ > ‎Collected Thoughts‎ > ‎

Ideal Program for STEM learning

The following is what I feel would have helped me as a student seeking to become a person that designed things: (I managed without these... but these are the gaps between elementary school and graduating with my masters degree that frustrated me along the way)

A program where every student has the opportunity to learn and explore freely at their own pace

- enough kits and tools to share and build their own systems

- access to material and kits outside of program hours

- (over in the real world, the kits are terribly expensive, somebody has to be responsible and there are only so many educators available)

Goals to achieve for a purpose to work towards, 

- providing motivation to complete sections and move to the next concept

- there are thousands of Mindstorm kits sitting in closets because there weren't goals presenting problems to work on.

The student should be able to select the goal that they are interested in.

- A choice, like in the Matrix

The opportunity to try over multiple seasons and learn, adjust and expand, building on experience.

The student should be able to work on their own to explore concepts that include fundamental building blocks that are built up into tackling advanced system concepts

Math analysis, modeling and prediction should be encouraged AFTER an realistic application is introduced.

Readily available and easy to use visualization aids with use guides

Documentation should be encouraged for understanding of how to communicate idea’s effectively to others and create a sustainable talent pipeline. Not just writing a report to write a project report... Write a report and then teach the next group from that report

Complexity should be addressed with layers of abstraction. 

- The benefit of Labview and also the Arduino is the simplicity to get complex systems to work, but the systems are built with readily available building blocks that can be expanded.

I strongly disliked environments where I felt limited. Most academic sandboxes abstract away the ability to take class concepts into the real world and do something useful. I wanted to know how and where to buy the components I was using so I could apply the concepts to make something else

Show the technical points that really are that easy

Readily show the limitations with suggestions for overcoming those limitations. 

Example: Discrete circuits… work great for <1MHz.