The U.S. Department of Labor projects that STEM jobs will increase by 17% between 2014 and 2024 – faster than any other type of job in the U.S. With high demand for tech workers, high levels of youth unemployment and a large percentage of low-income teens lacking exposure to pathways to careers in science, introducing kids to STEM learning early on makes sense. Read about a free hands-on, problem-solving tool from UL that aims to get more STEM-inspired young people into the pipeline. – Liz Enbysk
With input from educators, UL developed UL XplorLabs – a program designed to help middle school students solve real problems through science and engineering, to boost student interest in STEM learning and heed the call for people who can fill the tech jobs of tomorrow.
UL ensured that all of the components in UL XplorLabs align with the Next Generation Science Standards and utilize a multi-faceted case study approach that includes interactive videos, virtual testing elements, hands-on experiences and classroom crowd-sourced challenges.
The platform helps educators and students improve skills in scientific inquiry – asking the students to determine why a phenomenon happens before connecting it with real-life engineering challenges and then applying safety science to foster solutions. What’s more, UL says, the program aims to serve as a learning tool for encouraging students to solve the problems of tomorrow that don’t yet exist or to work on scientific endeavors yet to be explored.
“With UL XplorLabs, we’re putting science and engineering into the hands of inspired thinkers,” said Cara Gizzi, UL’s Director of Public Safety Education. “We believe that by encouraging a new generation of problem solvers to find solutions to real-world engineering challenges, we are enabling the safe adoption of innovations and increasing trust in the marketplace.”
As part of the overall mission of Underwriters Laboratories Inc. to work for a safer world, UL says it has long been committed to increasing scientific literacy and student engagement. To learn more about its free middle school resource, visit ULXplorlabs.org
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