A Gem in Stem – Apoorva Panidapu
You might be asking, “Who is Apoorva Panidapu?” I first heard of her through LinkedIn. There was a post of her solving math problems on a program called “Genious Junior.” Fascinated by this brilliant mind, I started following her on social media. I subscribed to her newsletter, “Letter, I Hardly Know Her!” 😅 She’s intelligent and funny, an excellent combination, in my opinion. In her most recent newsletter, Apoorva mentions a 10K race she participated in and talked about a virtual event called “GLAM virtual with eBay”. Here is an excerpt:
For some context, I am the Chief STEAM Advisor and global ambassador of the Girls Leadership Academy Meetup (GLAM), an organization that brings women leaders together to inspire girls to find their voice and take on leadership positions. I’ve been a part of GLAM for 4 years now, and so far I’ve mentored 500+ girls aged 8-12 from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Last month, I hosted the 2022 GLAM Virtual Event with eBay!
I’m so proud of all the girls for tackling coding in Scratch, creating vision boards, asking thoughtful questions, and coming up with innovative ideas to lead world change for the issues they are passionate about. They learned all about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how to brainstorm and effectively pitch their business ideas.
When we talked with Apoorva, we asked her to tell us a little more about STEM and STEAM and what she sees as the future of education. She had some insightful information to share about her interactions with her peers. She said, “… a lot of my peers didn’t enjoy STEM so I wanted to make it relevant and current, like a fun story to read.”
If you take a moment to read some of Apoorva’s writing, you can see that she makes her content relevant and relatable. Check out her blog Gems in Stem here. One of my favorite posts discusses “sampling bias” and is titled “Why You Aren’t Popular.” It’s a catchy title, like the opposite of “How to win friends and influence people.” 😃
But I digress; the point is that learning anything should be relevant and relatable, and that is what Apoorva is doing in her writing. Go check out her blog and share the 22 articles and see if they engage with these topics.
The “Belief in them” is Greater Than the Lesson
One of the other questions we asked (and I’m paraphrasing here) was, “What would you tell future teachers to inspire them about becoming teachers.” And I was surprised by the insight from such a young mind. Apoorva said that she felt like the fact that her teachers listened to her and believed in her was what impacted her and other students most. Watch the clip below to hear it in her own words.
Why is STEM so Important?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There is a significant push from a number of organizations to improve STEM education because innovation and advancement rely heavily on these feilds of study.
According to an article on EngineeringforKids.com, “According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 24%, while other occupations are growing at 4%. STEM degree holders have a higher income even in non-STEM careers. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy, and are a critical component to helping the U.S. win the future. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.”
STEM Resources for Your Classroom
This information is from our partners at Learners Edge.
STEM and STEAM frameworks provide essential skills to future success in the workplace, and as agents of change in the world. “The State of STEM Education Through 25 Stats,” by Ryan Boser links to information to motivate students to explore STEM or STEAM careers.
There are many ways to celebrate student curiosity and learning through Science, Math, Engineering Design, Art, and Math. Browse through the following resources to make your STEM/STEAM day relevant and engaging!
- “5 Ways to Celebrate National STEM/STEAM Day,” from The Learning Counsel covers Project Based Learning (PBL), Hour of Code, Tynker, LEGO, and Minecraft
- “National STEM Day 2022: Five Activities to Celebrate,” from Create and Learn links to virtual experiences through NASA, 3M, science museums, and even flying a QuESST aircraft!
- The National Science Teachers Association offers “Freebies and Opportunities for Science and STEM Teachers.” Membership may be needed to access.
- Did you know there’s no official website or organization declaring National STEM/STEAM Day? The website National Today.com offers some great ideas to celebrate!
Follow Apoorva Panidapu
We highly recommend following Apoorva to keep up with what is going on in her world. It is fun and inspiring.
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