At the end of 2018, nearly 2.4 million STEM jobs went unfilled. While STEM careers are the job market’s fastest growing sector, according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16% of American high school students say that they’re interested in STEM and test proficient in math. With a global economy and the general well-being of society depending on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it’s vitally important that educators are inculcating STEM instruction into their curriculums. That’s why companies like Flinn Scientific are committed to bringing the most advanced technology to the STEM classroom while strengthening the impact on career and technology education (CTE).

Mary Ann Hartel of Flinn Scientific, the #1 source for science supplies and equipment both in and outside the classroom, joins J.W. Marshall, Online Learning Consultant for MarketScale, live from the 2020 TCEA Convention and Exposition floor at the Austin Convention Center, to discuss educational solutions, blended learning, the evolution of science labs and more.

“A lot of people know Flinn from all the science and lab supplies and lab safety through the years that Flinn is known for. But over the last few years, Flinn has really branched out to STEM learning solutions,” said Hartel, “bringing in programs that have a digital component so there’s that online learning component, and really making it a real-world experience.

Today, more than 20 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), standards which were created to stimulate greater interest in science among students so that more of them choose to major in science and technology in college and pursue STEM careers. To help educators achieve this goal, many education supply companies offer NGSS-aligned products and resources to help teachers implement these new principles, including Flinn Scientific’s WhiteBox Learning—a complete Standards-Based STEM Learning System for Engineering, Science, and Technology Education classrooms, providing grades 6-12 with a web-based platform where students can design, analyze, and simulate their designs, hundreds of times, and compete with other students throughout their district, state, nation and the world.

“WhiteBox Learning is probably one of the most real-world educational engineering programs out there and the reason for this is kids get unlimited design iterations,” said Hartel. “Kids, especially in some of the schools we work in—where there’s a lot of kids that struggle—they’re amazed that they can actually do it, and actually understand the math.”

Really touching on careers, a real-world connection, gamification, community building in a really powerful way, Flinn’s WhiteBox Learning provides students with the virtual tools they need to build tangible things, building confidence while building their portfolio and resumes that will impress colleges and future employers.

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