(BPT) - Despite schools returning to full-time in-person learning, for many students living in rural and underserved communities, access to high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education resources remains a challenge. Following a year in which the surge in remote learning resulted in K-12 students experiencing an academic slide across subject areas, STEM — which traditionally requires more hands-on, interactive instruction — was among the hardest hit. In fact, The Center for School and Student Progress estimates math scores dropped 8% to 12% by the end of last school year.
With the 2021-2022 school year underway, teachers and parents alike are focused on finding new ways and tools to help young people with an academic rebound. To help reverse the effects of the pandemic slide no matter where students live, HughesNet, the world’s largest high-speed satellite Internet provider, joined forces with 4-H, America’s largest youth organization. Together, they are providing youth with fun, high-quality STEM education via 4-H at Home — a free online platform comprised of interactive K-12 activities. 4-H at Home is designed to supplement students’ existing STEM education, reinforce rudimentary lessons and inspire a lifelong love of learning for the next generation of STEM leaders.
Parents and teachers can complement students’ in-class curriculum this year with these STEM Lab at-home activities. Plus, adding to the simplicity of the experience, each STEM exercise can be completed using readily available household items. This is a great way for students to stay engaged and on track in their daily development while recovering from or preventing further academic slide.
- Get in Gear! teaches students about the power and mathematics of gears, allowing them to assemble and test different gear sets to see how small actions can create big movements.
- Solar Oven S’mores is a tasty activity that teaches students how to harness the sun's energy to cook delicious s'mores in a tin foil-lined cardboard box.
- Popsicle Paddle Boat challenges students to build a self-propelled boat using popsicle sticks and rubber bands to learn basic physics, 3-D printing and modeling skills.
- DIY Flashlight introduces students to the basics of electrical engineering by having them create a working battery-powered flashlight.
“Education doesn’t stop when children leave the classroom. When you engage children in STEM activities they can relate to, you give them knowledge that can spill into every aspect of their lives,” said Peter Gulla, senior vice president of marketing at Hughes. “HughesNet is dedicated to making sure every child has access to quality STEM education no matter where they live.”
For people who live in an area where reliable fiber or cable internet service is not available, HughesNet may be right for you. Named the Best Satellite Internet Provider of 2021-22 by U.S. News & World Report 360 Reviews, HughesNet high-speed satellite Internet service connects more than 1.5 million families and businesses to STEM education and much more. Check out 4-H.org and hughesnet.com to learn more.