Preparing students for STEM careers and advanced learning opportunities is about more than just teaching math, science, engineering, coding, and computer science to the youngsters who want to dabble or specialize in complex subjects. We also have to work to get more students interested in these STEM learning opportunities, and those efforts have to be inclusive.
That means finding all of the students who wouldn’t have ever signed up for a robotics class had they not been exposed to it–those are the kids that we want.
In some ways, the recent move to more remote learning helped us get closer to our STEM diversity goals. We had to get creative when COVID closed our classrooms, so we signed up for the CoderZ coding and robotics platform and gave all of our 7th and 8th graders access to it from home. We immediately started receiving feedback from students who said they would have never explored that opportunity in the classroom, and they thoroughly enjoyed the experience.