While science, technology, engineering, and math – collectively known as STEM – will certainly, in the future, dominate the workforce and our daily lives, too many children in the US are not given the opportunity to learn and excel in STEM. The organization STEMStart, founded by two Briar Woods students, is actively working to give every child the opportunity to learn and close the ‘STEM gap’.
Just like STEM, the ‘Start’ in the organization’s name is also an acronym. STEMStart hopes to Spark Imagination, Think Creative, Aspire Greatness, Realize Potential, and Transform Lives. STEMStart does all of these things and more by holding workshops, seminars, and demonstrations for various aspects of STEM. These activities better educate people of all ages – but particularly younger children – and inspire curiosity in them to pursue the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, which are growing more and more important and are rife with opportunity.
STEMStart engages children with a variety of activities, including teaching basic coding to elementary school students – which will help build an important foundation to support more advanced software-related skills later in life. STEMStart also holds robotics workshops – which will foster a lifelong interest in engineering and technology as well as develop social skills like teamwork and cooperation. For older STEM learners, the organization holds classes to teach website development – a skill that is only becoming more and more invaluable.
CIO of STEMStart, Nirav Kottury said he and his sister Niyati, the CEO, began the organization because at a STEM workshop they “learned that the US is facing a STEM skill scarcity and that women and minorities are generally underrepresented. During the workshop, we also learned that by 2025, out of 3.5 million STEM jobs in the US, 2 million will go unfilled because of the lack of STEM-trained candidates.” He went on to talk about an upcoming program by STEMStart, called the STEMHour Initiative that takes place at CASA, an afterschool program for LCPS elementary schools. “The volunteers will conduct simple interactive experiments to teach STEM concepts to younger elementary students while having fun and sharing how they got interested in STEM.”
If you want to help get kids interested in the jobs of the future, you can always donate to the organization via PayPal. Many corporations and partnerships have also teamed up with STEMStart to run campaigns and throw events that benefit STEMStart, corporations, and most of all, the children. If you don’t have any money to spare, you can also donate your time by volunteering at the STEMHour Initiative activities so you have a direct impact on educating kids and inspiring them in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. For both donations and inquiring about volunteer opportunities, reach out to STEMStart at [email protected]!
With STEMStart’s inclusive and intriguing programs, more children have the opportunity to go into integral and well-paying STEM careers. Education is the only true way to better oneself and STEMStart is educating in droves!