STEM Center USA inspires the next generation of STEM leaders by developing a passion for STEM careers at a young age and maintaining interest throughout middle and high school. We provide students with an experiential education that excites, engages, and enriches through a unique, learn-by-doing curriculum.
We believe that true learning takes place when a student is allowed to discover the underlying principles through a hands-on, experiential, learning model. By providing opportunities to be engaged in a learning process that excites, energizes, and exposes them to a wide variety of skills and concepts, STEM Center students will discover a path that will enable them to have a more productive education.
We have developed a Guided Discovery Approach to teach STEM through Robotics. Without guided discovery, teaching STEM concepts and even robotics has become routine and boring. Our Guided Discovery Approach creates significant learning experiences that are personally meaningful.
Guided Discovery is an effective approach that provides an excellent framework for learn-by-doing. Guided Discovery utilizes an authentic context in which the problems are presented in certain sequence and choices that enables the learner to reach an outcome. Learning occurs as the user goes through various scenarios and is guided to discover principles, and develop critical competencies. Information and reference modules are presented in context when required or requested. Mistakes can be made and the resulting scenario will allow the user to make decisions. Learning still occurs if a user takes a wrong path all the way through. Thus, learning becomes an experience and not blindly following a set of rules, or learning by rote. With Guided Discovery Approach, making mistakes are an integral part of the learning process.
In guided discovery there is an appropriate level of guidance that allows students to experience virtually all the characteristics of pure discovery and it happens within realistic time frames. We have implemented a well thought out guided discovery approach that is seemingly unstructured and chaotic but internally well structured and logical. Our guided discovery approach allows students to personalize the concepts. In a nutshell, we allow the students to reinvent.
"I am the principal at TIPS South Hill Academy in West Covina, and this is our second year with STEM Center USA. Their specialized robotics program has inspired our students to make connections involving different subjects of study as it integrates mathematics, electronics, computer technology, science, engineering, and the developing of programming skills. Our students are motivated and excited to learn by creating their own robotics devices, while at the same time they are gaining a deeper understanding in the application of these different areas of study. Their excellent staff instructs our students, as they work in teams, through a guided discovery approach as they learn by doing which creates learning and stimulates problem solving. In addition, it develops communication skills within their team members. We have experienced withdrawn students that have been on the side lines of learning, become fully engaged and involved students, respected team leaders, confident and willing to volunteer, when given opportunity, to teach others what they have learned. "
-Mrs. N. Jepsen, Principal TIPS South Hill Academy, West Covina, CA