A significant part of our mission at STEM Jobs is to share best practices in STEM – specifically those practices that connect classrooms to careers. With the school year nearing it’s midway point, the stories continue to roll in as more and more colleges and employers engage with students and high school teachers around STEM Jobs digital content and magazine.
If you’re looking for some unique ideas to engage your students in discussions around STEM careers, here’s a great activity sponsored by ECPI University and the South Carolina Stingray’s professional hockey team, a member of the East Coast Hockey League.
Participating High School: Hanahan High School and Fort Dorchester High School (South Carolina)
Contributing Student writers: Walter Fagan and Arianna Korley
The concept and activity was developed, organized, and executed by Gretchen Ramey, the Freshman Admissions Presenter for ECPI University. She utilized the Early Fall edition of STEM Jobs Magazine as content to frame an engaging contest with prizes, including free tickets to local Stingray’s games along with a visit by the Stingray’s mascot. We’ve often talked about, “winning the battle for the lunchroom,” at STEM Jobs, which is a metaphor for capturing student interest during school with the same fervency of the kinds of topics that percolate at the lunch-room table. Gretchen literally won the lunchroom by hosting her engaging activity in the lunchroom.
Two participating students tell the story in their own words:
“There was a STEM jeopardy-style game held at Hanahan High School, SC, sponsored by ECPI University and the Stingray’s. The format utilized teams consisting of four people that competed in the game during all three lunch periods.
After the first couple of rounds three teams made it to the finals. Each person on the team was given a STEM Jobs magazine to read in preparation for answering the questions of the game.
There were six categories; “What’s Online?”, “Robotics”, “Change We Watch”, “Inside the Black Room”, “Build a School Bus”, and “Random Stem”. [each of these categories drew from feature articles or content in the magazine]
Each team eagerly answered the questions hoping for the chance to win the game tickets. After all the category questions were answered it was time for final jeopardy. Each team could wager an amount of his or her points, the student could put it all in or just bet 100 points. The category for final jeopardy was, “Schools That Train”.
Only one team answered the question correctly and the final scores were zero, ten, and 4300. When asked what the winners thought about the game, “The game was intense but so much fun”, answered Megan Scharett. After hours of studying for this game Megan Scharett, Rachel Guo, Collin Cheatle and Kristen Songer walked away with two Stingray’s tickets each and they all look forward to going to the game together. “We put in a lot of time studying the content but it was well worth it”, stated Rachel Guo. Many contestants spent hours reading articles online and reading the magazine to prepare for this game. All the contestants had fun competing against each other in this friendly jeopardy game. – by Walter Fagan and Arianna Korley
CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!
This competition-focused activity is a fantastic way to engage students in conversations around STEM career subjects that tie to their school experience, to the real world, and to post-secondary education pathways. Gretchen’s motivation for engaging with students at this level is summarized well in her own words, “narrowing the STEM gap one school at a time!”
In addition to having students participate in the contest, she provided the school with free STEM Jobs subscriptions, and engaged student writers, student Media Tech (for shooting video and taking pictures of the event), teachers, administrators, and engaged students in studying the content in an in-depth way.
Why is this a best practice? – not because Gretchen was able to get free game tickets for students, but because she embraced the core STEM principles of cross-subject integration and making connections between academic subjects and the real world.
If you would like more information about subscriptions to STEM Jobs magazine for your school or College, or would like to learn more about how to engage your students in discussions about STEM careers, get our free Teacher’s Guide to STEM Jobs. or contact us via email at: [email protected]