This book is for educators, parents, and community partners!

Resources, ideas, examples, for both beginners and experts.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thousands and Thousands of S.T.E.M. Careers

What's all the fuss about career awareness in science and technology? Did you know that if you start poking around in one area of science, for example, you will find that in that one field alone there are hundreds of career possibilities, and thousands more jobs within those career paths? How are kids who are preparing for lives in a world that becomes more and more competitive supposed to know about these possibilities and opportunities?

In Chapter 7 of Connecting Students to S.T.E.M. Careers I provide sample resources and links to professional science organizations and learning centers. One of those is the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (USGS). It's mind boggling how much inspirational and eye-opening information is on their website. One afternoon on that site and a child's perspective might be changed forever. Certainly they will have opened a door to a world. Remember the closet in Narnia?

Who and what is the USGS? They're an independent fact-finding agency that functions as part of the Department of the Interior, specifically the U.S. Geological Survey. They collect, monitor, analyze, and share information about natural resource conditions, issues, problems...such as climate change. If a student is interested in this field, this website will provide them with a closer look at the work that's being done. There are even opportunities to interact with scientists. One of the USGS missions is to partner with the academic community, including K-12. They have numerous programs for K-12 classrooms including social media connectivity. Classrooms and individual students can follow them on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr. They can listen to podcasts on critical issues in biology, geography, geology, water, you name it. If you "like" their Facebook page, you will get regular briefs and announcements,  be able to interact with the scientists, ask questions, make comments.

Other resources they provide for K-12 classrooms include: videos, online lectures, maps, images, and curriculum content, including resources for undergraduate university classrooms. There are so many ideas, and topics to explore on this site, just one visit to the site will broaden a child's understanding of possibilities, of what's out there in the world.

By using social media to learn and interact, students can also learn the rules of the road, how to use the social media tools safely and effectively.

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