The U.S. ranks 26th with respect to students’ performance in math and science among the 34 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. In fact, only 16% of U.S. high school students are currently interested in science as a career with only 26% seniors being ‘proficient’ in math. It is of a growing concern that there will be a supply deficit of qualified science graduates to fill the growing demand of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers in the U.S. With this in mind, STW™ has designed educational programs to garner the interest of young children and adolescents towards science.
Currently, Save the Water™ offers two STEM Educational Programs that consist of two interesting and educational components that excite children to get involved in science.
•An in-school STEM program: typically directed towards middle to high school students
•“A Day in The Life of A Scientist”(DILOSTM) program: a field trip designed for students of all ages
As a follow up to these programs and to encourage continued engagement, the students become members of the AquaSquad™. The AquaSquad™ is formed by students, teachers, scientists, and concerned volunteers from all over the world. The AquaSquad™ provides a lifetime membership with continuing water education and project participation. Members have full support from the STW™ STEM education staff, are invited to all events, participate in research projects, and enjoy all the benefits offered.
Together, the DILOS™ and STW™ STEM programs offer hands-on schooling and practical, web-based curricula with useful projects and research. Young people have wide-open imaginations that, when stimulated with a field of science, spark enthusiasm and creativity, which are the key to all future discoveries. The continued participation in field trips and implementation of projects in school and the community has multiple benefits. Participants experience the power of making a difference and at the same time learn about science. Water science is emphasized in all projects along with technology, engineering, and math.
The community benefits in many ways, as well, when an entire class of students adopts a waterway and periodically visits the area to monitor environmental quality, and clean up if necessary. The students are encouraged to put into practice the knowledge learned with the AquaSquad™ membership, the experience from both the DILOS™ field trip, and the STW™ STEM “in-class” program.