Early access to science, technology, education, and math (STEM) learning better prepares students for future opportunities. But, barriers including STEM teacher shortages and budget constraints can limit what resources schools and other institutions are able to provide.
To ensure every student has access to meaningful STEM learning opportunities, entrepreneur and STEM advocate, Marlon Lindsay, launched 21stCentEd, a company that provides accessible, turnkey, and virtual STEM and CTE (career and technical education) programs for school districts, charter, magnet and private schools, and homeschool.
21stCentEd is working to bring STEM education to every student – no matter their location. Read on to learn how 21stCentEd’s Virtual STEM Camps provide a STEM education foundation in a way that’s engaging, fun, and challenging.
Stem education is mission-critical
Born in Jamaica, Marlon Lindsay immigrated to the United States at the age of thirteen, where he has become an entrepreneur, a writer, and an advocate for equitable education. Lindsay is actively working to bring STEM education to every student – regardless of background or location.
“I realized that the need for STEM is bigger than just creating another program for schools,” Lindsay explained. “There’s an urgency around STEM that impacts education, the workforce, and economic development.”
With this urgency in mind, Lindsay launched 21stCentEd.
My mission is to ensure that every single student in this country has an opportunity to get a comprehensive STEM education,” Lindsay shared. “While we absolutely need it from an education standpoint, it’s also critical to the workforce and economic development.Marlon Lindsay | Founder & CEO, 21stCentEd
Virtual stem camps provide a stem education foundation in a way that’s engaging, fun, and challenging.
“STEM is at the heart of everything we do in 2020 and beyond,” Lindsay said. “In the next 10 to 20 years, we need our young people to be engaged in creating technologies that are going to serve us for the rest of our lives.”
STEM shouldn’t be intimidating. To provide an introduction to STEM learning and skills for students and educators, 21stCentEd created a Virtual STEM Camp offering. These camps provide a hands-on intro to STEM and are meant to get learners excited about STEM learning.
Our camps are designed to be a fun intro to STEM for students, and a cost-effective program for schools and other institutions,” Lindsay said. “It’s a condensed dose of STEM, and helps students build the foundation and confidence to continue learning.Marlon Lindsay | Founder & CEO, 21stCentEd
Lindsay continuously works to spread awareness about the depth and breadth of opportunities that a STEM education can bring. That’s why each Virtual STEM Camp covers both STEM concepts and how STEM skills can be applied in the real world.
“If we prepare our students well and educate communities about the value and importance of STEM, the impact can grow on a local and national level,” Lindsay said. “If we can prepare our children, their parents, and the community, we can change the trajectory of their lives.”
STEM COMES IN MANY FLAVORS
Comprehensive STEM is more than robotics and coding. STEM is a deep and broad field impacting many industries.
“We have the coding classes, we have the robotics classes, but we also have classes covering 3D printing, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and audio mixing,” Lindsay explained. “If we’re looking to get all students involved in STEM, we need to have a gateway for them to find where their interests align, and help them develop confidence.”
There are six Virtual STEM Camp themes (all completely customizable), covering topics like:
Intro to STEM
This camp is designed to be a foundational STEM experience for building 21st century skills around design thinking and what it means to engineer solutions to complex real-world problems..
Internet of Things
This camp emphasizes real-world STEM knowledge and skills through project-based activities using IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, coding, data science, cloud computing, online dash-boarding, and app development.
Intro to Entrepreneurship
The entrepreneurship camp is the perfect place for young campers to begin learning how to start their own business, learning how to create business plans and start making money. Attendees will learn and apply design thinking processes, creative problem solving and the basics of building a business.
Design Thinking through Coding
In this camp, campers learn and use the principles of design thinking to creatively design a simple computer game for someone else. The experience teaches basic coding principles using the Scratch Programming Environment.
3D Modeling and Design
In this 3D animation camp, campers will learn the basics of 3D modeling, and how to animate characters and objects using Blender. Blender is a free, downloadable, industry-level 3D modeling software used in several courses in 21stCentEd’s K-8 Academy.
STEM in Sports: STEMletics
Campers explore the fields of engineering and entrepreneurship through the world of sports. Campers will practice 21st century skills in real life scenarios as they apply an entrepreneurial mindset in creating, marketing, and selling creative products in their own business.
“The reason why the Virtual STEM Camp is so powerful is that it’s short, flexible (can take place over the course of one or two days), and it’s a highly engaging, student-focused experience,” Lindsay said. “In this day and age, engagement can be really challenging for schools – especially during a pandemic, but through these camps, students and their mentors can collaborate, get creative and have meaningful experiences.”