Our Always Changing, Always Improving series provides insight to our ongoing commitment to Odysseyware educators and our learners, to demonstrate our dedication to providing innovative, up-to-date, and relevant curriculum and learning opportunities for students, and support tools for students, teachers, and schools alike. We are committed to keeping our curriculum and instructional technology ‘refreshed’ for today’s schools in a dynamic digital environment.
STEM (and STEAM) play a critical role in not just our schools, but our global society as a whole.
When we empower kids with the opportunities to be engaged in a well-rounded curriculum, and learn the interconnectedness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, we provide a well laid path to national advancement in keeping our nation a leader in a global marketplace.
Over the last decade, there was faster growth in STEM related occupation employment than non-STEM occupations – and between 2010 and 2015 alone, we saw a 5.5% increase of workers in STEM occupations. STEM occupations are projected to grow 8.9% from 2014 to 2024, compared to 6.4% growth for non-STEM occupations. This data alone tells us that STEM is trending for a promising future!
STEM courses also benefit our students who don’t plan on seeking careers in STEM related occupations. We know as educators that we are preparing our kids for jobs that don’t even exist yet. And while we may be unsure as to what those occupations may be, we do know that critical thinking skills, problem-solving, and technology and technical skills will play a huge role.
As a former, [primarily] science and math teacher, I’m slightly obsessed with the importance of this topic in schools – and am overjoyed that Odysseyware takes the same position in providing awareness and focus on STEM learning opportunities for our kids. Odysseyware leverages the power of PhET simulations to make STEM concepts come alive in the digital environment!
You might be asking yourself what makes the inclusion of PhET so important? What will it do for my kids? And those are great questions to be asking! PhET simulations were developed to:
- Encourage scientific inquiry
- Provide interactivity
- Make the invisible visible
- Show visual mental models
- Include multiple representations (e.g., object motion, graphs, numbers, etc.)
- Use real-world connections
- Give users implicit guidance in productive exploration
- Create a simulation that can be flexibly used in many educational situations
As educators, we are additionally always looking for ways to best prepare our students for high-stakes assessments and digital enhancements. Another beautiful feature of these PhET simulations is the integration of next generation tools such as drag-and-drop, radio buttons, sliders, rulers, thermometers, and more. As our students interact with these tools, they receive immediate feedback, allowing for productive and meaningful opportunities to further explore scientific inquiry and learn cause-and-effect.
- With the inclusion of PhET Simulations, Odysseyware continues to provide enhancements to the science and math experience, allowing students to be taken through hands-on, interactive simulations for science topics. To date, Odysseyware has included 14 distinct simulations, impacting 19 science assignments, and 11 courses total. These PhET simulations complement an aggressive media refresh of Odysseyware STEM and social studies curriculum assets this year with 1,499 updates, including simulations, images, video, audio, animations, slide shows and interactive assets already completed or on schedule for delivery by the end of 2018 for Earth Science, SPARK and Algebra 1 course offerings. Teachers and students will also have access to 259 new resources for STEM assignments by Fall 2018. And we don’t plan on stopping there!
Odysseyware is committed to bringing STEM interactions to life in a digital environment. Teachers across the nation use science simulations in their online, blended, and flipped classrooms. Below are a couple of teasers of how Odysseyware contributes to helping teachers achieve these goals and gets students ready for a future full of opportunity. Just think of the possibilities you could do with your students and classrooms!
Get in Touch!
Engage with one of Odysseyware’s experts today to learn more about our 300+ course offerings – including Advanced Placement & Electives, Test Prep, and Career & Technical Education pathways. We can help you establish instructional plans that benefit students, teachers, and administrators and make sure you’re on the right path for executing your STEM goals.