What is growingSTEMS™?
A new Organization designed to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education and raise awareness for STEM programs.
Started as an outreach initiative by the RoboBees, FIRST® Team 836, growingSTEMS (growing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Students) is a non- profit organization that aims to promote STEM awareness and education in Southern Maryland and beyond. The organization has three major branches, as outlined below, to accomplish this task.
The purpose of the outreach branch is to seek out students and adults who are not currently involved in STEM activities. These efforts will include programs focused at both STEM education and awareness.
The goal is to reach students early so that they will have a better understanding of STEM fields, regardless of what they choose to study. We hope that by facilitating this understanding, we will be creating a generation that celebrates innovation and creativity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as other fields. We also hope to educate parents and adults about the importance and benefits of STEM education so they are better equipped to support their students.
The support branch will focus on supporting existing STEM activities and teams such as FIRST® Robotics (FRC, FTC, FLL and Jr.FLL), and VEX along with the associated competitions. This group will also support other organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, with their STEM programs.
At growingSTEMS™, we understand that we can't achieve our goals by ourselves. This is where our support branch comes in. By supporting current STEM activities and organizations we are able to reach students where they are. Helping other groups work toward their STEM related goals is a key initiative and main function of growingSTEMS™.
A student's journey through education starts with curiosity and continues with participation. The final step is scholarship. The goal of our scholarship branch is to help graduating seniors pursue and obtain STEM related scholarships. This will be done by providing a list of scholarship opportunities, and giving tips on how to apply for and write essays for scholarships. We also offer a few sponsored growingSTEMS™ scholarships each year to students that demonstrate the core values of our organization. These are innovation, creativity, and volunteerism.
Why is STEM education so important?
We live in a world that is growing more complicated by the day and the complex problems of our world demand new solutions. By inspiring students to study STEM fields we hope to help them find the tools they need to develop these solutions. Among these tools are innovation and creativity.
These two skills are crucial because every solution needs them. Ideas for the next great solution may come not only from engineers and scientists but from the paints of an artist or the pen of a writer. By giving more people an understanding of STEM fields, we hope to show that everyone can play a part in fixing today's and tomorrow's problems. From artists to engineers, we all have a role.
So why do we believe that STEM education is important? Our answer is simple. Our students are our next generation of problems solvers and we want them to know their potential.