November 8 marks National STEM/STEAM Day in the United States; the “holiday” was originally created by MGA entertainment in correlation with their Netflix series and home STEM kits.
STEM originally focused on offering coursework and programming in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, areas in which the US Department of Labor and US Department of Education see a large need for improvement and growth in training and interest in students. STEM later became STEAM, with the addition of Art in the area of focus.
Most of our K-12 clients offer coursework in STEAM through specific curriculum called: Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in High School and Gateway to Technology (GTT) in the Middle School. These courses present challenges to students and introduce a wide variety of software, tools and strategies that are used currently in the STEAM fields. In addition to prepping machines for these labs annually and installing updated software packages, ITS also sells desktops and laptops with enhanced performance and video capacity to support the robust software needs. We also sell Makerbot 3D printers that are often used in K-12 Makerspaces and PLTW/GTT coursework.
Some of the software included in the PLTW/GTT coursework includes: Autodesk Inventor, Sketchup Pro, RobotC, LoggerPro and Revit.
ITS also serves as a tour spot for local 7-12 students through The Workplace Learning Connection, participates in area high school career and technical fairs, serves as guest speakers for a variety of classes, and hosts job shadow and intern students. We look forward to our tours and visits, as they provide a glimpse into the skill sets of our future employees and a conversation regarding the technology needs of students and schools in general. As we support the technology needs of K-12 schools, we tune in to the apparent needs of the network, the machines and the staff; we rarely receive feedback from the students actually impacted by the technology decisions. Our tour opportunities are not only fun, they provide great insight.