Updated May 2, 2017: Microsoft has now posted session times and availability on its website (opens in new tab) if you want to participate in STEM Saturdays this month.
Original story: Speaking on stage at its Education event today, Microsoft announced that it will start running science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) pop-up classes at Microsoft Stores throughout the month of May. The goal, Microsoft says, is to help students connect with STEM concepts in the same manner as other pop-up STEM classrooms it has set up over the past year.
Curiously, the emphasis in these pop-up classes will be on using basic elements, like straw, paper, and string. Using tools that cost just a few dollars, students can explore and learn about the basic elements of creating technology. Here's a look at what kids will learn before the session is over:
- How to build a flex sensor that lets them control a robotic finger with their own finger.
- How to use a Surface and Excel to visualize the flexion and extension of their finger.
- Basic skills typically used by mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and data scientists.
The classes will start this Saturday, May 6, and will run at Microsoft Stores throughout the rest of May. There's no official list of dates or specific stores available just yet, but we'll update this post with more once available.
I have to say, as ham handed as Microsoft's marketing very often is, this is pretty cool, classy, and forward thinking as well. Anything to get young kids interested in science, math and engineering is commendable.
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