Although the summer is fast approaching and school begins to wind down, it's not a time to stop learning, especially in critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The National Summer Learning Association reports that students lose an equivalent of two months of their grade-level math computational skills over the summer. And, when kids return to school in the fall, about nine out of ten teachers will spend as much as three weeks on review because of summer learning loss.
To help combat the so-called 'summer slide' and keep students' STEM skills sharp, Texas Instruments (TI) is launching a summer STEM tour, kicking off at C.E. Williams Middle School for Creative and Scientific Arts in Charleston, South Carolina.
From now through September, TI's STEM squad will visit school campuses across the US, offering project-based learning activities that make important STEM concepts relevant in real world, meaningful ways. TI will also host live, virtual field trips throughout the summer to give even more students an opportunity to engage with STEM.
TI has put together a selection of fun and simple activities that introduce students from middle school through high school to STEM, coding and the basics of engineering design. For example, students can learn how to program an alarm that alerts an owner if they forget their pet in a hot car.
Or, kids can experiment with robotics as they learn to programme a calculator-controlled robotic car to navigate a volcano on Mars. Students at more than 50 school campuses across the country will experience TI's STEM curriculum this summer, helping to maintain their academic edge.
"Learning doesn't have to end when the last school bell rings," said Peter Balyta, President of TI Education Technology.
"Summer is an ideal time for students to experiment with math, science and even basic engineering, without the added pressure of grades or tests. TI's summer STEM activities were designed with fun in mind, knowing that during the summer break, we need to work even harder to keep students engaged with STEM."