In today's world of rapidly evolving technology, it has become harder to know what skills students need to have a successful career. It is difficult for schools because of the rate of change in technology and the time it takes for a school to adapt to change. Previously, using the same textbook for 5 years would not be an issue, but in STEM fields that has become obsolete. The curriculum needs to be updated regularly to stay up to date with industry.
Students need to get a taste of what actually goes on in the real world. Understanding the application of the work they are doing provides context and meaning to the work. With there being many options of content the students can learn, how do you ensure it stays relevant? Focus on the skills the students get from the new tool.
New educational tools are only as good as what they can be and are actually used for in the classroom. While getting a 3d printer for the classroom might be exciting, what are they learning from having it? There needs to be a reason behind getting the tool. Teachers need to be able to understand how to use it, and how it can be applied in the classroom. They need to have an understanding of how it can be integrated into their curriculum in a meaningful way.
Students need to understand how technology works and the limitations of working with it. Teaching students how to 3D model will be relevant to some students who want to become engineers or designers, but that skill might not be relevant to everyone. But learning how to design for 3D printing will teach everyone how to work under constraints or parameters. Having the students come up with 3 different ways to create the same piece and figure out which one will be the best option is a life skill. Understanding how to create something within boundaries given is crucial for any job. Whether it is budget, time, or how you design your 3d print piece, you need to understand how to optimize it to get the best results.
PicoSolutions’ Project RED curriculum focuses on teaching the skills students need to succeed in their careers. Problem-solving, knowing how to present your work and working as a team are critical to being a part of any team. Our curriculum units per example about bionics, aeronautics, and robotics keep the students engaged in the latest technology while learning those vital skills. We make it possible to have teachers be able to teach our curriculum with little to no prior experience in that field. The teacher first gets hands-on training so they can understand the core skills required for the curriculum. Some examples of this could be using a 3D printer, coding, or building a bionic hand. They are trained by our service agents who support our industry clients. This is to assist teachers in understanding the applications of how the tools they are learning get used in the industry.
After completing the training, their virtual teaching assistant works with them to ensure every class period is run smoothly. Planning times are set aside so the teacher feels comfortable and is prepared for every class. The virtual TA video calls into the class and asks questions to challenge the students. After the class, the teaching assistant takes notes on the style of the teacher and makes any adaptations to best suit them in the future. Think of it like a STEM coach!
A strong foundation is vital to making anything succeed. Education is the foundation that allows people to grow. We work to make the process of building that foundation as simple as possible. PicoSolutions provides virtual teaching assistants to ensure new programs run smoothly, a curriculum subscription with an ever-growing library of options to pick from around our core areas, and brings the what we learn from the industry right into the classroom. These programs are designed to make the students prepared for the future. The World is changing faster than anyone can keep up with at this point unless you are on the ground! That is why we continue to push forward with the industrial side of our business as it adds so much value to what we began as when our previous company entered the STEM Education Market!
Stay tuned for part 2 as we speak more about our Pedagogy and content areas we are building out our library around!