1. Heather Zimmerman
  2. http://sites.psu.edu/heatherzimmerman/
  3. Associate Professor of Education
  5. Penn State University
  1. Michele Crowl
  2. Executive Director
  4. Discovery Space
  1. Katharine Grills
  2. Project Manager
  4. Penn State University
  1. Susan Land
  2. http://sites.psu.edu/susanland
  3. Associate Professor of Education
  5. Penn State University
  1. Lucy McClain
  2. Science and Education Program Director
  4. Penn State University, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center

STEM Pillars: Supporting Rural Communities with Science Stories, Experts, and...


2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Informal / multi-age

STEM Pillars is a partnership between the Penn State College of Education, Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Centre County Library, Centre Hall Library, Holt Memorial Library, Tyrone-Snyder Public Library, Huntingdon County Library, Schlow Centre Region Library, and STEM professionals from Pennsylvania businesses, universities, non-profits, and county conservation agencies. The team has developed five inquiry-based STEM workshops for families with children aged 6- to 10-years-old. The STEM professionals lead workshops in rural libraries and small museums. The workshops start with personal stories of interest and involvement in STEM pursuits, which lead to high-quality science and engineering explorations. Topics include weather forecasting, engineering prototyping, astronomy research, water quality monitoring, and plant biology and pollination; rural community connections are made in these programs. STEM Pillars addresses the need for an empirically-tested pedagogical model for engaging hands-on science and engineering that focuses on community issues — in which adults and children learn together. The team has worked with over 600 research participants to encourage engineering and science activities that are relevant to rural communities.

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