On Saturday, September 17th, Nate Ivy shared an introduction to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Service-Learning at the SLWRP kick-off institute. SLWRP schools are ideally situated to engage students in environmental service-learning projects that help them develop STEM content knowledge, skills, and career awareness.
The session included examples of STEM Service-Learning, an overview of the State of California's efforts to engage and retain under-represented youth in STEM study, and a focus activity introducing student engineering and design tools provided by Purdue University's EPICS (Engineering Projects in Community Service-Learning). Teams of teachers role played the 1st steps of the design process by identifying a problem and drafting specifications. Teams identified ocean open plastic debris catchment systems, teacher smartphone app tools for attendance and group work monitoring, and storm drain filtration systems as potential projects. Purdue's EPICS tools provide a strong organizational framework for student inquiry, design, and problem solving.