Siemens STEM Day Recharges STEM Lessons in the Classroom
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education have rebranded the annual Siemens Science Day, turning it into Siemens STEM Day, an opportunity for schools to promote science, technology, engineering and math activities among teachers and students. Siemens STEM Day resources include hands-on activities, educator support and a "possibility grant" sweepstakes. Siemens is a global company with operations in 190 countries delivery services and products in the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. The organization's foundation focuses on philanthropic efforts to advance STEM-related workforce development and education.
STEM Day doesn't take place on a specific day. It's more a promotion of continually available STEM lessons for every K-12 grade band. Currently, the collection includes five new lessons targeted at grades 9-12. The new artificial intelligence lesson, laid out in an eight-page Word document, teaches high schoolers how to classify types of AI according to the types of representations formed and to formulate a protocol that could serve as a simulation for the Turing Test (a method for determining whether a computer can "think" in a way that's indistinguishable from a human). Other new lessons cover cyber security, coding, 3D design and 3D printing of robots (which doesn't require access to a 3D printer).
Educator support includes "five-minute refreshers" to help teachers remember the basics of the topics they intend to use in their classrooms.
What does have a specific deadline is the sweepstakes. This year it closes at 5 p.m. Eastern April 27. Participants can enter daily for a chance to win $10,000 towards STEM resources for their schools. In May one school will be chosen as a grand prize winner, to receive a check to be used for making over a science lab and buying equipment and technology. The sweepstakes is open only to teachers working for a 501(c)(3) school, whether public, private or parochial. (Rules are on the Siemens STEM Day website.)
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.