Tony and Patrick after a long and much deserved Spring Break. This episode promises to be another classic as Tony and Patrick talk about some upcoming Windows news, some great advice about STEM/STEAM skills and even a bit of comic book movies and Game of Thrones. Check out the talking points below and as always subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.
Developing STEM and STEAM programs (Science Technology Engineering/Art Mathematics) is very exciting, but I have noticed recently there is a lack of cohesive standards to measure progress.
Like many people, I am working on building a set of standards. Some are customized, and some are licensed.
In my research, and through various networking engagements, I have settled on a set of core skills that need to be incorporated throughout the STEAM environment. The standards are being built around these skills.
I have found more engagement among students if the skills are presented first. The skills tend to fuel the desire for hands on work. I also want students to not focus on grades and common rubric models. I want them to focus on creating and going through the design process.
These skills have been developed by the MIT FabLab Program. The FabLab has been operating for well over a decade, and many FabLab partners have developed programs for younger students as well.
The overall philosophy is to learn the skills at every level, but increase the difficulty and complexity within the projects as students gain experience.
DIGITAL FABRICATION PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES
COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN, MANUFACTURING, AND MODELING
COMPUTER-CONTROLLED CUTTING / Drawing
ELECTRONICS DESIGN AND PRODUCTION
3D MOLDING AND CASTING
COLLABORATIVE TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
3D SCANNING AND PRINTING
SENSORS, ACTUATORS, AND DISPLAYS
INTERFACE AND APPLICATION PROGRAMMING
EMBEDDED NETWORKING AND COMMUNICATIONS
DIGITAL FABRICATION APPLICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
INVENTION, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, AND BUSINESS MODELS
DIGITAL FABRICATION PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Looking at this list, it might seem impossible to imagine a Grade 3 or even Grade 8 students accomplishing these in a meaningful way. I would argue that all are achievable at least at the planning and design thinking stage. Most of these are achievable with the correct level or equipment and/or some creative outsourcing.
Anyone interested in STEM/STEAM spaces and equipment should watch this video. It is older, but worth a revisit. He says we need 20 years to make this feasible and affordable. I think we might be moving a bit faster. He compares the evolution of Fablabs (and personal fabrication) to the original development of UNIX which was done on a PDP-7.
I think the most interesting aspect is we can “go back in time” with his prediction, look at the current state of development, and confirm what direction the technology and pricing are heading.