As a non-profit dedicated to helping local teachers and students with classroom supplies and college scholarships, ForCarol.com is starting a new, STEM in-class enrichment program, to help local teachers bring science, technology, engineering, and math awareness into the classroom.
As such, I am starting to develop an in-class program (Lecture & Lab) for 4th and 5th grade classes in Tracy, CA to bring STEM related material, and enthusiasm, to the classroom. (If the in-class program is not feasible, at the very least, I hope to acquire funding to purchase STEM related materials that can be handed out to the 36 local teachers on ForCarol’s classroom supply list).
I envision the lecture & lab will be fast, fun, and educational, covering:
- Science (chemistry & physics demonstrations and lab)
- Technology (robotics and virtual reality (Google cardboard) lecture and lab)
- Engineering (electronics, logic, computer demonstrations and lab)
- Math (basic math with real world examples of math at home, in building construction and other skilled labor, and lab). The age old question: “Why do I need to learn math?” will be answered.
Bookmark this page for more information as I develop the course and seek funding assistance, and, check out this article by Dan Rather as he blogs about Science in the near future.
Donate here to help us get started. All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit (45-1499304)
Possible Scenario for a STEM Lecture & Lab
I sent this scenario to a couple of my favorite local teachers, one responded: “YES!!!! Sign me up, but just give me a heads up on when we would schedule this. I appreciate you reaching out to bring STEM to our classes!” And one teacher already volunteered her class to be the first so we can work out any bugs.
Imagine….TechyMike (TechyMike.com) walks in wearing a white lab coat with “TechyMike” embroidered on it. I am carrying a suitcase (ala Fantastic Beasts) full of “gadgets” and supplies for a 30 to 45 minute session.
We set up on the floor or large table. The kids sit around (on the floor is best).
I give a short presentation on the whiteboard, with student assistance (being a sub for 9 years… I have gotten pretty good with class interaction).
I give a quick overview demo, then, the kids gather in small groups of 5 or 6 to work on a small project. I will try to make it so each small project is a piece of a final project.
Real world, hands-on, fun, fast….
It does not matter if things work or not, as this is meant to be a FUN learning experience.
I will add this to the web page. Thanks for making me think
About Mike Pihlman
Mike has over 25 years experience (Grumman Aerospace, AT&T Bell Labs, Lawrence Livermore National Lab and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab) in digital hardware design, telecommunications, project engineering, video conferencing, desktop videoconferencing, and Ad-Hoc IP-based video conferencing network design, implementation, and support. He has been a leader, since 1990, in the effort to bring desktop / mobile videoconferencing applications to fruition (think Skype).
He was the founder and owner of AltamontCowork, a coworking location based in Tracy, CA where he helped small businesses succeed from May 2009 to Dec 2014.
Mike was (until 2016) a Substitute Teacher in the Tracy Unified and Jefferson school districts. With over 200 classes under his belt, he prefers to work in Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Mike has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas and is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society,and Eta Kappa Nu, the Electrical Engineering Honor Society.
He is a US Navy Vietnam Era veteran.
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