Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
Subscribe to RSS

STEMtube: An Online Warehouse for Student Projects

Dr. Katie Klinger

STEM & Digital Equity Grantwriter & Education Technology Integration Expert

A resource like STEMtube would have been fantastic for our family when my son, Philip, was in middle school. He did his science fair project on "Extracting Iron from Cereals" because he realized that in reading the labels on cereal boxes, it was not clear to him what "kind" of iron was inside of them.

He was intensely curious as to whether elemental iron could actually be seen inside the cereals during his experiment; he also wanted to physically touch, with his fingertip, any traces of iron he discovered and be able to examine it up close.

He proved his hypothesis that it was possible to observe and measure the amount of elemental iron in different brands of cereal. His instrumentation included a very strong set of iridium magnets with a one-centimeter diameter that we were lucky to borrow from the science department at a local community college. The independent variables were the different cereals; the dependent variables were the distilled water and the strength of the magnets he put on the side of the blender to pull the wet iron fillings to the glass.

He also researched iron bioavailability in its two forms: haem and non-haem, giving our family the opportunity to discuss nutrition. As he took photos of his experiment, he began to think about what might be the implications for further research. The result was that my son discovered six new ways to "redo" his experiment. His project resource at that time was the Mad Scientist Archives.

However, as Philip is primarily an auditory and kinesthetic learner, viewing a student video would have addressed his preferred learning styles, and lessened the tension in our family that it need be done right the first time because of our limited financial resources.

For more than a decade, I have brainstormed and collaborated with family groups wanting science fair topics aligned to their children's interests, skill sets, and "level of patience" so that the projects are truly positive learning experiences -- and not just rote activities mandated for a grade. The families also express interest in putting the excitement back into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, by creating rich learning experiences around discovery and exploration strategies.

It is my hope that STEMtube will become a valued repository of student-generated videos that visually connect interested students around the world to challenging topics that can be replicated and expanded (from service-based learning activities, to classroom projects, to ideas for science fairs).

Families continue to tell me that they struggle to find STEM topics for projects that interest their child, meet their child's educational level and learning style, and are unique enough to be different from other projects in the same school district. Affordability and a project with a realistic timeline are also issues for parents when assisting their children. The goal is that STEMtube will provide families with new ideas on how to make STEM come alive for their children and community.

How might STEMtube be useful to your students, or your own children? Please share your thoughts and ideas with us!

Dr. Katie Klinger

STEM & Digital Equity Grantwriter & Education Technology Integration Expert
Related Tags:

Comments (8)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Colleen Werner's picture
Colleen Werner
high school math teacher from Massachusetts

I love this idea, but I think you would get many more entries if there were some kind of contest attached. Perhaps one of the companies that promote STEM education like Intel, Apple, Toshiba, etc would offer a prize of some sort for winners?

Joseph Mello's picture

I think a YouTube channel with corporate sponsors would be a good way to organize this. You could also offer a site with social media (discussions, etc.) that draws the videos from YouTube. That way, the site and the projects gain more exposure.

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer
Staff

Great idea Katie!

You may want to make sure STEMTube is not hosted via YouTube directly due to school filters. I'm assuming you'd want to do something like a TeacherTube model and perhaps hook up to YouTube via their API.

Another resource for you: Our STEM group (http://bit.ly/bwGHKt) is very active and I'm sure they'd have some great suggestions/ideas for implementing this as well.

Hope this helps!

Dr. Katie Klinger's picture
Dr. Katie Klinger
STEM & Digital Equity Grantwriter & Education Technology Integration Expert
Blogger 2014

Dear Colleen, you are correct...we were thinking of showcasing a project each month with some form of reward going back to the student(s). Warmly, Katie

Dr. Katie Klinger's picture
Dr. Katie Klinger
STEM & Digital Equity Grantwriter & Education Technology Integration Expert
Blogger 2014

Dear Joseph, originally our concept was to put up links to other sites that were student generated...in order to get the concept across, we uploaded photos and videos to receive feedback like yours, which is excellent. In many of my blogs, the key element is not only what the children are doing, but also their own talk story around what they have learned through their recent experience, so we agree completely. Mahalo (thanks in Hawaiian) for your advice. Warmly, Katie

Dr. Katie Klinger's picture
Dr. Katie Klinger
STEM & Digital Equity Grantwriter & Education Technology Integration Expert
Blogger 2014

Dear Elana, I went to your website link and was so pleased to see my dear friend, Bonnie Bracey Sutton, as an active contributor. I would be very interested in talking story with your members, well over 600+ now, I noticed. I will join your group right now. And mahalo (thanks in Hawaiian) for taking the time to review the site. Warmly, Katie

Hollie Rogers's picture

I teach 5th grade science and this year for the first time I did not require my students do complete a science project. I work in a Title I school and I felt that my students did not have enough science background knowledge to formulate a testable question. I would end up assigning many of my students a project to do. I believe that assigning a topic takes away from the students ownership of the project. I know that I would use STEMtube in my class to show examples and possible ideas that they can build on.

Sign in and Join the Discussion! Not a member? Register to join the discussion.