It’s more than just spotlighting an idea — it’s about bringing STEM to life.
The OCDE STEM Student Showcase has annually highlighted the best curriculum-aligned technology projects in Orange County, but organizers say this year’s event has been rebooted to reflect a hands-on — and minds-on — approach to exploring science, technology, engineering and math. While the showcase itself won’t be held until February 2017, applications are being accepted now through Oct. 28.
“We are looking for more than a presentation, we’re looking to see the ideas in action,” said OCDE Educational Technology Specialist Laura Dellisanti.
Who should apply? Any K-12 Orange County public and private school teacher or group of teachers that integrates STEM lessons into their curriculum. Project examples include robotics, coding or 3-D printing. Above all, they should demonstrate student engagement, innovation and collaboration.
“When we visit, we want to be submerged in their STEM idea and really see a focus on real-world issues and problems that seek solutions,” Dellisanti said.
Applications will be assessed by a review team that includes OCDE curriculum and STEM specialists, along with district STEM coordinators, and business and community partners. Final selections will be announced after site visits.
The OC STEM Student Showcase is set to take place at the OC CUE Tech Fest Feb. 4 at Mendez Middle School in Santa Ana. Rather than simply showing their projects, participating students will create interactive experiences that allow attendees to play, build, create and problem-solve, Dellisanti said.
“The OCDE Stem Student Showcase is not only for students, but just as much for teachers too,” she said. “This is the place where teachers see, feel and participate in STEM ideas, and we actually hope they replicate these ideas in their own classrooms.”