Nov. 8 is National STEM Day, recognizing the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, and their impact. Civil Air Patrol’s Aerospace Education program recently expanded its STEM Kit program to benefit CAP’s nearly 30,000 cadets and to support its more than 3,500 K-12 educators and their students as well.
“Our STEM Kit program is growing,” said Sue Mercer, who manages the STEM Kit program.
The AE team recently launched four new STEM kits that focus on circuitry, security systems, generators, and more; early computer science principles; structure design and building; and entry-level, hands-on coding principles without computers or the internet.
The names and descriptions of the new kits, as provided by Mercer, are:
MyHome Snap Circuits
With the MyHome Snap Circuits STEM Kit, cadets and students use hands-on activities to learn about circuitry, security systems, generators, and much more.
Users can construct a house or city tower with seven base grids and working 3D circuits. They can build 25 different projects using the approximately 60 parts included in the kit.
In addition, using the Aviation Connection kit can spark interest in becoming an electrician, engineer, and/or scientist. The connection to aviation becomes apparent when looking at the avionics or electronic systems of an aircraft — also very evident in satellites and spacecraft. All types of communications systems in aviation and space include the integration of avionic systems.
The Sphero indi STEM Kit is designed to ignite computational thinking by introducing cadets and students to early computer science principles using open-ended learning.
The indi robot offers screenless programming using color sensor cards that can be used to build mazes and solve puzzles. The kit is versatile and adaptable, promoting collaborative learning and teamwork.
In addition, the Cyber Connection robot will help cadets and students apply such skills as sequencing, estimation, control, and problem-solving as they begin a path to early cyber knowledge.
Learning directional language and algorithms sets the stage for involvement in cyber competitions, such as the Air Force Association’s national youth cyber education program, CyberPatriot, and interest in potential cyber careers in coding, programming, or computer engineering.
Strawbees can help inspire the next generation of engineers, as cadets and students can design and build structures to enhance problem-solving skills.
Users can dream, create, learn, and repeat using the nonconsumable parts of the Strawbees kit, which comes with more than 300 pieces, including connectors and straws. Lesson plans and activities can be found online. Young potential architects and engineers can design bridges, buildings, and structures of the future.
Youth can also use the included Aviation Connection materials to develop innovative bridges and structures that can connect aircraft to terminals, allowing passengers to deplane quickly. Users will employ scientific and mathematical formulas, engineering principles, and unique designs that can structurally hold weight and withstand natural elements on Earth as well as other planets and even the moon.
The Bee-Bot/Space Rover STEM Kit is designed to teach youth entry-level, hands-on coding principles without the use of computers or internet.
Users will receive one Bee-Bot robot with associated Skills Mat and one Space Rover set. An early learning coding tip sheet is available in the Learning Management Systems section of CAP’s member portal, eServices, in addition to lessons and additional suggestions to guide recipients in implementing the wide range of Bee-Bot/Space Rover learning options.
Instructors can also use the kit to introduce, teach, and reinforce a variety of subjects, and older youth can teach younger students beginning coding skills.
This early computer coding kit allows young children to apply skills, such as sequencing, estimation, control, and problem-solving as they begin a path to early cyber knowledge. Learning directional language and algorithms sets the stage for involvement and interest in potential cyber careers.