How Engineering Companies can Help Make STEM fun
by Anna Thames | February 21, 2018
As one of the leading engineering companies in the world,
ESCO is dedicated to expanding student interest and access to science, technology,
engineering and math (STEM) education. But, with all of the noise and distraction
in the world, how do we cut through the chaos and encourage students to engage
with STEM education tools?
We need to make STEM fun.
Educators across the country are turning to various products
and tools to help get students excited about STEM topics. Instead of simply
teaching them to memorize multiplication tables, chemical formulas, and the
fundamentals of physics, teachers are using new and innovative technologies
that encourage creative thinking about engineering, computers and building projects.
Engineering companies too are turning to innovative
resources to make STEM learning fun for children of all ages. Microsoft
recently released its new take on the classic Oregon Trail computer game, “The
Oregon Trail Experience,” combining the imaginative world of Minecraft with subjects
about STEM, humanities and the fine arts. Taking gamers through challenges
along the journey from Missouri to the Willamette Valley, the game includes
lessons about how to create a floating device to cross a river or use physics
concepts, such as buoyancy and weight. Other companies have developed
programming that works in partnership with K-12 STEM education, such as Intel’s
annual International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest
international pre-college science competition.
Here at ESCO, we work on a smaller scale, but our impact is broad.
In recent years we have welcomed younger students to ESCO’s Take Your Child to
Work Day—we host an engaging, hands-on experience for our employees’ children,
introducing them to the foundry floor and our innovation center, to learn what
it’s like to work at a world-class engineering company. ESCO’s casting booth also
prompts many questions from bright and eager students about the science and art
of the metal casting process. We bring this activity straight to local science
fairs, classrooms and community events, like the Oregon Museum of Science and
Industry Maker Faire.
ESCO enjoys its partnership
with the Beaver racing teams of Oregon State University, the alma mater of many
current and former ESCO employees. Each year students meet with our engineers
and get feedback on their designs ahead of their racing competition season.
This is a fun and engaging way for ESCO to build and support student interest as
they prepare to pursue careers in STEM.
Learning about STEM can be fun. But engineering companies
like ESCO must continue to lead the way for programming to get students
involved, not only to develop a sustainable workforce for our own companies,
but also for the future of our industries.
ESCO is always looking for new ways to create meaningful
STEM experiences within our community. ESCO’s casting booth is a fun activity
to have at your next community event. Our engineers would be delighted to design
an engineering challenge customized for your science class. Or maybe you would
like to bring your group of students in for a foundry tour. We would love to
hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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