What to Watch: Nebraska STEM Series

Nebraska-STEMThere are some truly fantastic videos out there that help share the world of manufacturing with those who may not be able to get out and experience a factory tour or direct interview with a manufacturer.

We’ve covered videos of makers before on our blog, showing everything from how a boot is made to an inside look at BMW’s carbon fiber manufacturing process. Organizations like PBS Learning Media do a great job with this, giving students a chance to explore careers like welding supervisor worker or maintenance engineer. Technology allows us to do many amazing things, and having a closer look at industries that were previously behind doors is one of them.

Today, though, we’d like to showcase some videos that may hit a little closer to home than the ones from PBS (as cool as they are). Jim Collison, technology manager at Gallup in Omaha, launched a video series in collaboration with Jeff Cole from Beyond School Bells. BSB is a statewide organization that is a division of Nebraska Children’s (in Lincoln, Nebraska) that works on improving life outcomes for vulnerable Nebraska citizens. Part of this effort is working on higher-quality education, as well as programs to supplement traditional public schools. And BSB believes that STEM is incredibly crucial to great after-school programs! One of their most important projects is Project Liftoff, an effort to build STEM competency in the state of Nebraska—something that other states, like Iowa, are already doing.

So, Jim and Jeff began shooting and producing interviews with Omaha-area STEM providers and educators that have a strong awareness of STEM. “For a movement that lacks people, it doesn’t lack effort,” said Collison to the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation blog. “There’s a lot of STEM learning going on in Omaha. So my goal is to connect those providers so that they know what each other are doing, and raise awareness of the general public.

Currently, there are eight videos in the series (the last one was produced in late August 2014). Interviews with Holly Carr from Click2Science, Barb Faho, Education Initiatives Director at the City of Omaha’s Mayor Office, Dr. Elizabeth Mulkerrin from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, Emily Mwaja from Girls Inc., and more are all up on the blog, and jam packed with valuable information about what’s happening with the STEM movement right here in Nebraska.

It’s worth giving all of the videos a watch to find out who is doing what to help improve the state of our education, and what important initiatives we have in Omaha and throughout Nebraska as resources to inform elementary-age children. You can find the whole stream on their YouTube channel.

And after you’ve done so, if you have recommendations for an organization or individual that would be a great contributor to the show, feel free to send tips to jcole@nebraskachildren.org for their next episode. Questions? Comments? Want to learn more about individuals in any of these videos? Just let us know in the comments section below!

photo credit: NebraskaSTEM