STEM educators aim for Philly students by energizing their teachers

Mike DeNardo
May 07, 2018 - 2:32 pm
A science field trip today for dozens of Philly teachers.

Mike DeNardo-KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Science entertainer Grand Hank had 80 Philadelphia teachers waving their arms to the beat in his keynote to the daylong science, technology, engineering and math conference at GlaxoSmithKline headquarters at the Navy Yard. 

The program was staged by the Philadelphia Education Fund, where Nancy Peter is the director of the McKinney Center for STEM Education. She says students need to envision themselves in STEM careers.

"There's something called 'STEM identity,' which is perceiving of oneself as a potential STEM professional," Peter said. 

Darien Fripps, a technology teacher at Mastery's Harrity school, says the challenge is presenting the material so the kids don't find it boring.

"If you put the aspirin in the applesauce, if you will, involve some of the things they like -- music or art or just their community or themselves and integrate it with the technology -- that's how you get them excited," Fripps said.

Among the discussion topics: How engineers use simple science concepts to build things like invisibility cloaks.