How to Learn STEM – for Real


Teaching STEM  – Science, Technology; Engineering and Math – is a hot topic in traditional education, particularly when it comes to women.

So how do we teach STEM at Acton Academy?  We don’t.  Instead, Eagles learn it.


Session Five’s Electrical and Quantum Mechanics Quest has Eagles designing and constructing a neighborhood, complete with an electrical system, and then melding neighborhoods and electrical grids together into one giant city.


The most attractive city, with the lowest power cost, that can stay illuminated for at least one hour at the Exhibition wins.


In order to earn the right to buy wires and components with Eagle Bucks, Eagles have to solve complex circuit diagram problems and answer “Electricity Bee” questions about electromagnetic theory in front of the entire studio.


On Thursday, the last two teams were still trying to qualify.  One Eagle woman and then another, both convinced they could never “do science,” stepped up to the plate.  Everyone held their breath – and each got it right!

“How do you teach STEM?” isn’t the right question. As it turns out, neither is ““How do you learn STEM?”  The right question is: “Why do you learn STEM?”

Apparently you learn it so you can build your very own illuminated city on a hill.


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