Imagine learning how to create algorithms for better music playlists or how to prototype and make a new running shoe – at the age of 12. Traditionally, academic training for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) has focused on students. However, the research (https://stemeducationjournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40594-020-00207-6) shows that STEM vocational training should start much earlier – ideally in college. This type of advance is especially important for minority students who are under-represented in STEM fields.
Learning Landmark is a non-profit organization that strives to cultivate a love of technology and computing in students and encourage them to pursue their interests and careers in these fields. As an Indian American junior at Valley Christian High School in San Jose, Calif., And founder of Learning Landmark, I believe that nurturing an interest in science, math, and technology during the critical period of college will help students do better. meet. as the leaders of tomorrow.
Learning Landmark helps create the next generation of innovators and problem solvers by delivering STEM experiences to communities under-represented in STEM. My team of six volunteers and I work with schools and individual students in the San Francisco Bay Area to provide science kits that offer engagement and hands-on learning. The kits contain all the necessary materials and a lesson plan with easy-to-follow instructions. These courses are offered in both online and offline formats, free of charge, to seven participating schools.
Learning Landmark has provided over 1,000 science kits to students at various Bay Area institutes such as ACE Inspire Academy, ACE Esperanza Academy, Family Connections, Aspire Richmond School, San Jose Tully Library and many schools in school districts across Fremont and San Jose. They reached 107 students, ages 6 to 14, as part of their STEM education initiative.
The efforts of Learning Landmark have been graciously recognized by participating schools.
âThis year, Family Connections has partnered with Learning Landmark to help our young researchers, students aged 6 to 12, gain experience in STEM fields. It has been great to see our students take an interest in subjects such as mechanical and aerospace engineering! This program gave our students the opportunity to explore different STEM concepts while having fun and interacting with their knowledgeable instructor and peers, âsaid Giannina Cadenas, Fellows and Alumni Coordinator at Family Connections.
Science teachers like Stephaney Wilson of Aspire Academy have been extremely impressed with the content of the Learning Landmark lessons. âWe learned a lot with GEARED UP today with Sanjana who introduced us to Simple Machines !! We discovered simple machines ranging from screws to pulleys (just like an elevator), construction gears, and possible careers in robotic arm construction, âWilson said.
To raise money to buy and build more science kits, I organized online coding camps during school vacations. During coding camps, I teach children about Python and Scratch programming. I also raised funds by selling my kits. I also intend to seek corporate sponsorships to help fund these initiatives.
Recently, I also hosted a Learning Landmark science fair, where students came up with their own science experiments and presented them to each other and to the judges. They applied the scientific method they had learned during their Learning Landmark workshops. Through this competition, I hoped that the students would demonstrate their ability to transfer their new skills to the real world.
I would like to extend the contributions of Learning Landmark across the country and even around the world.
I am currently in the process of expanding my organization to reach children in other countries including India, Thailand, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. I will continue to encourage children to develop their love of science and embark on STEM careers. I further plan to tailor the lesson plans for elementary school children and include art in the offering to create a STEAM curriculum.