By Deidre Galloway / July 11, 2020

How STEM education shapes us: Pitsco taught me this . . .

As back-to-school time creeps into our calendars and minds, it has us reflecting a bit, especially in this time of uncertainty, newness, flexibility, and innovation. We are approaching 50 years in business and we’ve seen a lot of trends come and go in the education space. The constant though, and the heart of if all, remains the same: educators and students.

Pitsco was created with the guiding principle of fast, friendly service for teachers by manufacturing innovative kits for teachers. Since joining the Pitsco family as a professional, I’ve been thinking about how Pitsco products and STEM-focused education impacted me.

Upon my moving to Pittsburg, Kansas, I saw a billboard for Pitsco Education. I immediately connected the company to the products my Technology Student Association (TSA) chapter used, such as the Impulse G3 Race System for dragster competitions. I went to TSA nationals each year during high school and consider it to be part of my high school experience that helped shape who I am today. When I applied for a job opening at Pitsco, I was excited to work for a company that manufactured and sold cool products.

Base Knowledge to Build Upon

After a year at Pitsco Education, I’m starting to realize all the ways Pitsco has shaped me. My school had a Pitsco Modules lab for Grades 6 and 7 electives. I now know that almost everything I understand about how plastic is made comes from the Plastics & Polymers Module. That base knowledge helps me identify how everyday things are made. We made golf tees through injection molding, and through that hands-on experience, I learned concepts that still help me understand the world and how things are made.

Learning about the Design Process, Failure, and Teamwork

Through Module activities and team events in the organizations Technology Student Association and Odyssey of the Mind, I learned about engineering in a hands-on fashion. Following a design process taught me to think about problems in a practical sense. Organizations such as TSA, SkillsUSA®, FIRST®, and other programs give kids a place to work together to contribute to projects. These competitions gave me a place to fail and sometimes succeed while building friendships with my teammates. In many ways, I feel like my early experiences with failure and success through STEM projects set me up for success in college and my career.

Skill Sets and Confidence to Tackle Big Problems

I’m learning that it’s not only my basic knowledge but also skill sets that were influenced by Pitsco products. I believe my TSA Systems Control team used a robotics set similar to TETRIX®. As the coder for the team, it was my first introduction to robotics. This event helped develop my collaboration and problem-solving skills. Teams work on-site “to develop a computer-controlled model-solution to a problem. . . . Teams analyze the problem, build a computer-controlled mechanical model, program the model, explain the program and mechanical features of the model solution, and leave instructions for evaluators to operate the device” ( In this competition, things rarely seemed to go just as planned. Through that competition, I learned about resiliency and about adapting to the situation.

Although I didn’t pursue a career in a STEM field, my problem-solving skills have continued to be an advantage. Early experience with coding through HTML with website design and C-based languages often gave me the confidence to tackle big issues. After all, if you can make a robot solve a problem while the countdown timer runs, what can’t you do?

During my year at Pitsco, I’ve learned we do so much more than make cool products. We challenge and inspire students and teachers. As I’ve looked to the past on how STEM education has impacted me, I hope you look to the future for your students as we all work together to prepare students for a world no one can describe.

Tell Us Your Pitsco Story

We’d love to know your Pitsco story! Do you have experience with a product, staffer, competition, or teacher who used Pitsco in your classroom? Share it here. 

We’re truly in this work every day because of educators and/or students like YOU. We’d love to collect reflections and connections with us. We relish learning about your takeaways, your memories, and the impact a Pitsco product or experience has had on you. 



TOPICS: IN THE CLASSROOM, ADMINISTRATION & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP, BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, STEM, TSA, Careers, Authentic Learning, Career Expeditions, Future Ready, 21st Century Skills, Hands-on Learning, Women in STEM

Deidre Galloway

Written by Deidre Galloway

Hi there! I work in Product Support and Tech Support, which means our customers call, email, or chat with me when they have questions about our products. I love troubleshooting issues and finding solutions for our customers. I also help implement our curriculum solutions into schools. I’m an alumna from Pittsburg State University. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, and camping. If I’m not working on renovating my 100-year-old home, I’m probably planning my next trip!