Welcome to the World of RE@L: Real Experiences at Life

Welcome to the World of RE@L: Real Experiences at Life

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The Opportunity

Here’s a recent prediction about STEM from James Brown, Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition in Washington, D.C (2014).

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“The future of the economy is in STEM. That’s where the jobs of tomorrow will be. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) support that assertion. Employment in occupations related to STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022. That’s an increase of about 1 million jobs over 2012 employment levels.” (emphasis added).   (The entire STEM report may be read by clicking here: STEM 101: Intro to tomorrow’s jobs).

RE@L’s believes there can be no stemming the tide of STEM in K12 schools today. STEM-related courses are receiving the attention and adoption of school leaders, teachers, business leaders, politicians and publishers, parents and students.

STEM2We at RE@L believe that K12 students, both girls and boys, need to learn more about STEM. STEM helps them and their teachers better understand the fast-changing world we live in today. Further, it helps prepare our youth for tomorrow’s growing number of satisfying STEM careers.

RE@L also believes that “STEM creates a new cohort of solution-finders for real world problems. We understand the importance of “educating towards innovation.” RE@L is helping regenerate America’s K12 interest in STEM. RE@L will be a key provider of the new tools teachers need to teach STEM. Further, RE@L will help students become “STEM-savvy” and leaders in the emerging STEM workforce.

 

Our Response: RE@L STEM Investigations

RE@L is launching a game-changing Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) product line-RE@L STEM Investigations. Students learn about the current world of work and the problem solving process that is commonly used in organizations:

  • Identify the problem
  • Identify information needed to explore and understand solutions to the problem
  • Determine how best to obtain that information
  • Collect and interpret the information using knowledge and tools from the STEM disciplines
  • Propose workable solutions
  • Communicate the results of the investigation

Delivered through a state-of-the-art online portal (Add name of Portal), RE@L STEM Investigations provide an integrated supplemental curriculum. The three-phase experience: Classroom Learning, Field Experience, and RE@L-World Change is focused on solving real-world problems using the latest industry-based tools. RE@L STEM Investigations’ supplemental curriculum solution is aligned to the Common Core, Federal and State curriculum standards.

 Classroom Learning

 This first of the three-phased approach provides the teacher and students with the supplemental learning materials which support of the topic being studied. Our materials provided in print (PDF format), video and PowerPoint give the teacher step-by-step instructions on how to integrate and present RE@L STEM Investigations topics into their classroom.

Resource materials are also provided for student use as they learn about the specifics of the topics presented. RE@L employs the “Just-in-Time” Learning approach in all the materials we provide. We believe that the training and implementation for both teachers and students should happen as close as possible to the time of the launch of the Classroom Learning phase of our RE@L Investigations. 

Field Experience

The Field Experience phase of RE@L STEM Investigations focuses on extending the learning from the classroom to the “field,” where students can apply their learning, gather data, make inferences and create presentations used in the third phase of RE@L World Change. Students use the tools provided and integrated into the RE@L Portal to gather data through print based documents, mobile devices and our Geographic Information System (GIS). These tools, used in business and industry,allow students to experience real world applications.

RE@L World Change

Unknownimages  We believe one of the key tenets of STEM is that K-12 students be exposed to the inherent   motivation and broad requirements of new 21st century careers. Our third phase utilizes RE@LView, an integrated video conferencing tool that supports students in the sharing of their findings with other classrooms and experts in the field wherever in the world they are. This phase allows students to see how their work can influence change worldwide, all while exploring the careers that support RE@L World Change.

RE@L Web Portal

Teachers and students access the tools and materials for Investigations purchased by their schools via the RE@L STEM Portal. The Portal is a secure online gateway to RE@L Bulletins, electronic documents, online interactive tools, and the RE@LView video conferencing system. RE@LView allows classes to hear presentations from, and interact with local and national experts in the fields that contribute to a specific Investigation. It can also be used by students to share their Investigation findings with other schools across the country and with the decision-makers in their community who can benefit from the student collected and analyzed data.

The RE@L STEM Investigations product line focuses on student hands-on projects that integrate the four STEM disciplines. These investigations model the problem-solving process, provide experience in tool use and data analysis, and encourage reporting to local officials.

The first RE@L STEM Investigations module is Water Quality. Students learn the importance of water quality and how it impacts local watersheds. They identify the parameters that indicate a healthy body of water. Students conduct a field survey of a local water source using an online Geographic Information System (GIS) to record and share measurements of water quality obtained through chemical testing and invertebrate population counts. The data and findings are delivered online and through live presentations to other classes and community organizations including the local DNR. RE@L has already completed a pilot test with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Further topics under development include Forensic Science, Concert Tour Planning, Green Home Construction, and Vehicle Traffic Flow, all based on the Investigation model that includes classroom experiences, field experiences (live or simulated), and connection to professionals in the field. There will be more RE@L investigations to come.

 

Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.