Top 6 STEM Jobs: Prepare Students to Succeed

Scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematical thinkers will shape the products and services of tomorrow. STEM education places a focus upon science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Art and design are also considered to be critical elements in preparing young people for the digital age of tomorrow, so often the term STE(a)M is used. The primary goal of blending these disciplines into curriculum is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to pursue STEM related careers.

STEM

Art and Design are often included with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

Teach STEM Skills for Career Readiness

Equip your students with the skills needed to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow using TechnoKids technology projects. We may not know what the careers will be in the next decade and beyond, but we can provide learning opportunities to make our students “future proof”. There are no specific, ideal skillsets we can teach young people. We can only instill a foundation of skills, knowledge, and attitudes based on today’s technology. We hope to create an adaptable mindset to apply learned knowledge to whatever the future holds. And to engage students to pursue a lifelong interest in becoming tech-savvy, we need to ignite a passion for innovation and learning. Make technology fun and kids’ interest will be sparked.

TechnoKids Projects Prepare Students for STEM Careers

I searched online for current, best STEM related jobs. Although the results will of course change over time, they reveal a need for a diverse set of technology, interpersonal, and higher-level thinking skills. TechnoKids has technology projects that teach foundational skills which are precursors to these careers. TechnoKids projects have students assume real-world career roles to learn basic yet critical STEM competencies. The skills they acquire will equip them to tackle the workplace of tomorrow.

Check out the job descriptions and see how the skills mastered in TechnoKids projects provide a basis for future success.

Financial Analyst

What does a financial analyst do?

  • Helps people make wise investment choices such as projecting college savings, mortgage decisions, or estate planning
  • Uses software to prepare reports, budgets, and forecast models
  • Analyzes, tracks, and reviews financial performance

A financial analyst may work in a bank, insurance company, or in pension and mutual funds.

How does a TechnoKids project prepare students for this career?

In TechnoInvestor, students assume the role of a stock broker. They collaborate to form investment teams. A spreadsheet is used to track a portfolio and then an investor’s report is prepared to summarize results.

TechnoInvestor Learning Objectives:
✓ Apply problem-solving strategies to a real-world situation
✓ Develop financial literacy
✓ Organize, format, calculate, graph, and analyze data

Business Operations Manager

What does a business operations manager do?

  • Coordinates different departments to meet company goals
  • Guides team projects and hires people
  • Makes decisions about clients, products, contracts, budgets, and company policies

A business operations manager may work in an international corporation, a consumer goods manufacturer, a government agency, or social services.

How does a TechnoKids project prepare students for this career?

career readiness

In TechnoRestaurateur, students launch a new restaurant. They conduct a survey to make informed business decisions. Then they design a company logo and write a professional letter to raise investment capital. They design a floor plan. Financial earnings are analyzed and finally a newsletter advertises the success of the budding franchise.

TechnoRestaurateur Learning Objectives:
✓ Problem solve to make logical decisions
✓ Apply critical and creative thinking to develop a plan
✓ Collect, organize, calculate, graph, and analyze data
✓ Write a persuasive letter and newsletter to entice investors

Web Developer

What does a web developer do?

  • Designs and builds a website to suit a client’s needs
  • Writes code using programming languages and integrates graphics, audio, or video
  • Monitors, maintains, and repairs problems

A web developer may be self-employed or work for an ecommerce business, an advertising company, an online publishing firm, or a technical, scientific, or management service.

How does a TechnoKids project prepare students for this career?

teach STEM skills

In TechnoHTML, students become web designers. They use HTML5 and CSS to code a web page.

TechnoHTML Learning Objectives:
✓ Identify the topic, purpose, and audience for a web page
✓ Set attributes, add hyperlinks, insert images, and create lists, background, classes, and tables
✓ Troubleshoot to fix problems

Information Security Analyst

What does an information security analyst do?

  • Monitors and protects an organization’s computer networks and systems
  • Develops security standards and best practices
  • Researches security products and prepares reports

An information security analyst may work for a financial institution, a computer company, a government agency, or in the service industry.

How does a TechnoKids project prepare students for this career?

STEM education

In TechnoInternet, students learn responsible digital citizenship. They develop search strategies, access digital resources, practice Internet safety, and communicate electronically.

TechnoInternet Learning Objectives:
✓ Demonstrate responsible, ethical, and safe behavior
✓ Discover effective search strategies and assess trustworthiness of web-based information
✓ Communicate online using netiquette

Marketing Coordinator

What does a marketing coordinator do?

  • Writes, designs, edits, and prepares creative promotional materials
  • Conducts online marketing initiatives such as ads, email promotions, and marketing campaigns
  • Analyzes campaign insights and reports to management

A marketing coordinator may work in a consumer products company, for an event planner, or for media outlets.

How does a TechnoKids project prepare students for this career?

STEM career education

In TechnoAdvertise, students adopt the role of an advertising agent. They produce a range of professional publications: a flyer, catalog, custom mailer, and newsletter for clients.

TechnoAdvertise Learning Objectives:
✓ Write a resume and cover letter to apply for a marketing position
✓ Format text and graphics, create a table, add headers and footers, and insert a table of contents, index, and cross-reference
✓ Merge data into a personalized form letter

Social Media Strategist

What does a social media strategist do?

  • Creates compelling editorial and promotional content to attract a target audience
  • Communicates and responds to clients using social media best practices
  • Strategizes for optimal viewership and engagement

A social media strategist may work in the news media, online advertising, social media, fashion, technology, or consumer goods.

How does a TechnoKids project prepare students for this career?

STEM skills middle school

In TechnoBlog, students read, write, and comment on blog posts to express their expertise and opinions as responsible digital citizens.

TechnoBlog Learning Objectives:
✓ Identify the topic, purpose, and audience for a blog
✓ Plan and organize writing ideas to express an insight, advice, and opinion post
✓ Format and revise posts to optimize content and layout of title, sections, tags, and images
✓ Exchange ideas using commenting etiquette

Prepare Students for STEM Jobs

STEM education and career readiness are a key focus of our goals as teachers. TechnoKids projects are an ideal way to build the job skills that students will need to succeed. In my search for best STEM careers, I found so many fascinating ones that I’ll describe more in an upcoming blog.

Google Forms Lessons – TechnoQuestionnaire

Christa’s Top TechnoKids Pick

It was my turn to choose a favorite TechnoKids technology project this month. After lots of waffling, I finally settled on TechnoQuestionnaire, a technology project with Google Forms lessons ideal for Grades 6-12.

It was very difficult for me to pick only one. I love each technology project that TechnoKids publishes for different reasons. For example, I like the creative spark that ignites when students complete TechnoToon. The graphic stories always look fantastic when they are finished. TechnoToon is a top selling TechnoKids project, but it is not my top pick.

Another technology project that I love is TechnoBudget. The shopping spree concept is something that engages students. The activities make spreadsheets easy to understand and fun to use. TechnoBudget is a favorite of many teachers, but it is still not my top pick.

Combine Inquiry Based Learning with Google Forms

Why pick TechnoQuestionnaire? The quick answer is I love how Google Forms can be used to create meaningful learning experiences. I wish more teachers used Google Forms in their curriculum.

google forms lessons

Discover how Google Forms can be integrated into curriculum.

I know that many teachers are reluctant to use Google Forms, but it is one of my favorite web-based apps from Google. I like how easy it is to gather information. The variety of question types allows students to gather a range of information. In addition, the automatically generated report clearly summarizes the survey results. I like Google Forms so much that I designed a second technology project, TechnoTrivia, for elementary teachers.

One of the things I like the most about TechnoQuestionnaire is that it uses a real-world problem-solving model. The technology project applies an inquiry-based approach to learning. In the lessons, students learn how to select a research question and design a questionnaire to collect data. Afterwards, they explore data analysis techniques to interpret the findings. TechnoQuestionnaire has activities that offer a practical use of technology. The skills that students learn can be transferred to new situations.

google forms lessons

Google Forms Lessons Make Learning Meaningful

Have Students Become Researchers

I remember being part of the curriculum development team in charge of designing TechnoQuestionnaire a few years ago. In the beginning, I worked with several classes of Grade 7 and 8 students. I had two goals. I wanted students to understand the practical application of Google Forms. I also wanted to design a series of activities that middle and high school students would find interesting. I didn’t want them to be bored. Instead, I wanted them to appreciate the power of Google Forms and understand how they could use it in real life. It was fascinating to watch students become researchers.

When the unit came to an end, the curriculum development team created TechnoQuestionnaire. I like all the things that make it unique. I like the school spirit survey activity because it provides a concrete example of the purpose of a survey. I like the presentation of findings at the end of the project because it gives students an audience bigger than their teacher. I also like the pivot chart extension activity – because I like pivot charts.

Learn More About the Google Forms Lessons in TechnoQuestionnaire

TechnoQuestionnaire is a technology project best suited for middle and high school studnts. Check out my top pick!

Publish Books – TechnoBookmaking

Laurie’s Top TechnoKids Pick

This month’s TechnoKids top pick is from Laurie Gerard. Laurie’s favorite technology project is TechnoBookmaking. In TechnoBookmaking primary and elementary students publish books including picture books, flip flap stories, unfolding riddle books, layer book of facts, bookmarks, greeting cards, and more.

publish books

Publish books with Microsoft Office or Google Docs.

What makes TechnoBookmaking Laurie’s all-time fav is how enthusiastic kids are about what they are making. They are having so much fun! “Kids love the end result, and are always wowed by what they have made.”

Laurie has been a valued TechnoKids team member for over twenty years. One of the things she likes the most about her job is watching the pride students feel when they see what they can do with technology. “I like seeing them smile when they pick their work up from the printer, they just beam!”

publish books

Laurie’s top pick is TechnoBookmaking.

Another reason, Laurie loves this projects so much is because it can easily integrate into any subject area. Students can write a funny story for language arts, a fact book for science, or an unfolding riddle book for social studies. The templates can be used over and over again. This makes it a technology project that a teacher can reuse throughout the school year.

Publish Books with TechnoBookmaking

Check out Laurie’s top pick! TechnoBookmaking, is an engaging project that has kid publish books. Discover what makes it Laurie’s favorite TechnoKids project.

TechnoKids publishes a wide selection of computer lessons for kids. Other titles you may want to check out include TechnoMe. This title is ideal for an All About Me unit. You may also want to learn more about TechnoGallery. This technology project includes a collection of fun drawing activities using Google Drawings. You will be amazed at how creative your students can be with this web-based app.

Engineering Activities STEM for Elementary Students

To be competitive in today’s global economy, students will benefit from an understanding of engineering. It will help them identify possible career pathways. In addition, engineering activities develop problem solving skills, teach essential science and math concepts, and promote collaboration. TechnoKids technology projects can help elementary and middle school teachers integrate engineering into curriculum.

What is an Engineer?

An engineer develops technological solutions by applying their expertise in science and math. During the design process they define a problem, conduct research, analyze information, and develop a solution. An engineer must test ideas and consider various choices to select the solution that will have the most successful results. The field of engineering is very broad. There are four main branches of engineers: civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical. Each branch has multiple types of engineers that have a wide range of job duties. Most people specialize in a particular field or area of expertise. To learn more about the engineer profession visit Engineers Canada or read the Engineering Wikipedia article.

Many, many years ago the word engineer was used to describe a person who made siege weapons. They were makers of military engines. Today, the term can be used to include a variety of professions. An engineer can be a software engineer that develops computer programs, computer engineer that controls computing devices, environmental engineer that monitors nature, architectural engineer that designs buildings, aeronautical engineers that builds spacecraft, or a biomedical engineer that creates prosthetic limbs. This list is just a few of the exciting career opportunities related to engineering. There are so many more!

TechnoKids Projects and Engineering

TechnoKids projects can be used to teach elementary and middle school students about engineering. The instructional materials are project-based. The engineering activities can be used to develop a foundation for future learning in high school or college.

STEM and TechnoKids projects

STEM and TechnoKids projects

Electrical Engineer

An electrical engineer studies or creates devices or systems that use electricity. This role often includes other branches of engineering. An electrical engineer might write software programs, maintain computer hardware, design telecommunication systems, or design electric devices such as motors or circuits. TechnoKids has projects that apply electrical engineering tasks. For example, in TechnoHTML students become software engineers by writing code to build a web page, and in TechnoSpecialist students become computer engineers by learning about the function of hardware components. These are meaningful engineering activities that students enjoy.

Civil Engineer

A civil engineer designs, constructs, and maintains the physical and natural environment. This job is diverse, extending from infrastructure projects such as roadways to construction projects such as dams. A civil engineer might develop structures such as bridges, build transportation systems such as railways, or conduct environmental assessments such as monitoring air pollution. That is a lot of different types of jobs!

TechnoKids has projects that introduce civil engineering concepts that are suitable for elementary and middle school students. For example, in TechnoRestaurateur students draft a floor plan for a restaurant. This problem solving activity requires students to consider people’s needs to develop a viable layout. The combination of creative and critical thinking required to complete the task is a precursor to applying engineering fundamentals in fields such as architectural engineering. Another TechnoKids project that applies engineering principles is TechnoQuestionnaire. In this project, students design a questionnaire to research an issue, analyze the findings, and propose action based on the results. The design process and reasoning required to complete the activities are similar to the methods used by engineers when researching a problem.

Mechanical Engineer

A mechanical engineer designs and operates machines and mechanical systems. This job includes a wide range of professions. They may manufacture items; design vehicles such as boats, cars, or spacecraft; construct power plants using a range of energy sources (coal, geothermal, tidal, wind, solar); or monitor the efficiency of building systems such as heating or air conditioning. This year, TechnoKids will be creating a project that uses 3D modelling that will target this area of study – it is going to be so fun!

Chemical Engineer

A chemical engineer mixes natural and man-made materials using chemical processes to produce various substances. This area of engineering is vast. For example, it includes refining petroleum, creating paper products, and manipulation of genes. Although a fascinating career path, TechnoKids does not have a project that targets this area specifically. Instead, there are several TechnoKids projects that could be integrated into a unit of study related to chemical engineering. For example, TechnoDebate could be used to explore the ethical issues related to engineering practices, TechnoPresenter could be used to explain an engineering process, or TechnoResearch could be used summarize an engineering topic.

Don’t Hesitate – Integrate Engineering Activities into Curriculum

Engineering activities can be suitable for elementary and middle school students. Instruction does not need to wait until high school or college. Instead, young children can learn about engineering and how it applies to real life to create a foundation for future learning.