STEM + Writing = A Winning Combination for These Students

Allyson Barkan  //  Mar 21, 2019

STEM + Writing = A Winning Combination for These Students

How do you prepare students for the jobs of the future? Give them opportunities to apply creativity and problem-solving skills to real-world problems. Combine STEM and literacy. Or, even better—do both! Scholastic and Arconic Foundation, of the advanced manufacturing industry, have teamed up for just this purpose, developing the Innovators of Tomorrow program for grades 9–11.

Three lessons exposed students to advanced manufacturing materials and techniques (such as 3D printing and robots). Then, students were able to enter the Innovators of Tomorrow contest, where they were invited to conceptualize, write, and sketch an innovation that uses advanced manufacturing to solve a problem.

We’re delighted to announce that the five winners have been chosen! Each student will receive a tablet, plus their teacher will receive a $1,000 grant for classroom use. The winning students blew us away with their creative and detailed ideas, including:

  • A pollination drone to counterbalance the steep decline in the bee population

  • An air-powered refrigeration truck that applies physics principles to save energy

  • A swallowable "pill" embedded with sensors and reactive compounds to pinpoint the source of inflammation in the body and help diagnose disease like IBD and Celiac

Here’s what teachers across the country are saying about the program:

"I love love love the chance for students to use their authentic voices and design skills beyond the classroom."

“[My favorite parts were] how excited they got for someone ‘real’ to look at their designs, and [seeing them build] their confidence that they could change the world."

"Students were excited to apply the design cycle we have been studying to a real world problem."

"I love the next-level thinking that is required. Students often struggle with higher-level thinking but Innovators of Tomorrow has them do it in a way that is interesting and exciting for students."

"The best part of the program is the integration of real-life applications [that are] are current with today's industry leaders."