Editorial

The Role of I&M in STEM Education

Wendy Van Moer

Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics... Children from 2 to 99 love it! Even without realizing it. A lot of children hate mathematics, but they do not realize that they are using it all of the time when they are flying a drone, remotely operating a toy, using their cellphones, playing games on game consoles…

Since 2014, I have been part of the STEM Academies in Belgium with the goal to make children from 2 to 18 years old get passionate for STEM. A STEM Academy is an alternative to the music academy, sport clubs, etc.

In a STEM Academy we learn to solder and play with electronics, electricity, physics and mathematics in a pleasant and entertaining way. For example, we work with the children to make our own drone, a rocket, a windmill, car alarms... 

It is very important to let children taste from STEM if we want to have great technically-skilled people in the future. You will never become a music virtuoso if you never get in contact with music. It is all about passion, and you cannot get the passion if you never tasted it! The younger you start with an activity, the more you will get passionate about it. 

Another topic that needs our attention is the number of girls participating in the STEM Academies. How many times do we hear the girls say: “That's for boys and boys only!” Forget it! Girls love to make things, but they need to be ‘girly’ things, such as light-giving flowers, laser cut jewel cases, 3D printed jewelry… Girls also love STEM in their world. 

A lot of people nowadays put tons of passion into STEM and the STEM Academies. This issue of our magazine contains several testimonies of deeply passionate STEM educators from all around the world. They will show you a lot of creativity that make children warm for STEM!

Our children and STEM are the future if we want to go to Mars soon!
Have fun reading this issue!

Groetjes,

Wendy

 

 

STEM Education and Its Impact on Instrumentation and Measurement

 

Ruth Dyer

This theme of the June 2018 I&M Magazine is Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, and the articles in this issue are focused on both significant social contexts related to encouraging broader participation of underrepresented groups in STEM and innovative efforts to engage students from K-12 through college levels by providing more hands-on approaches to conveying important foundational concepts in STEM. However, we also recognize STEM education is not limited to just the time period of the formal educational process. We all must remain life-long learners to keep abreast of the many, rapid changes that constantly occur in STEM fields. 

Although the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society (IMS) is obviously focused primarily on the engineering component of STEM, and in particular on the instrumentation and measurement aspects of engineering, we also understand how critical science, technology and mathematics are as foundational elements to engineering and integral to all we do as scientists and engineers. Thus, some of the articles present the more inclusive nature of STEM education and others concentrate more on the engineering component of STEM. 

One of the essential features of many of these educational programs is the participation of practicing scientists and engineers. Incorporating the perspectives and experience of those who are engaged daily in the design, development and implementation of engineering projects truly brings to life the concepts educators are communicating to students. We hope the information in this issue will spark your own thinking and discussions with your colleagues about ways to interact with educational communities where you live. We encourage you to inquire at your local primary or secondary schools or a nearby university about opportunities available to participate and share your experiences with students.

We also have opportunities within the IMS for all of our members to engage with undergraduate and graduate students, through our IMS Student Branch Chapters, and with our young professionals who are recent graduates, through our Young Professionals (YP) activities. Another opportunity is to provide a video tutorial about a topic in instrumentation and measurement. Check out information on the IMS website (http://ieee-ims.org/evts/tutorials) for how to submit an Expert Series Tutorial. Providing tutorials or industry track papers at our conferences is another excellent way to share important educational information with our student attendees. Sergio Rapuano, the IMS Vice President of Membership, Kristen Donnell, the IMS Vice President of Education, and Chi-Hung Hwang, the IMS Vice President for Conferences, also can provide more information on other opportunities to engage in our society's educational efforts and with our student and YP members. Part of our legacy is to inspire the next generation to pursue the exciting and rewarding careers associated with science and engineering. I look forward to hearing how our many IMS members contribute to these efforts.

Ruth A. Dyer, 
Junior Past President, IEEE IMS
IEEE Fellow

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