By Melissa Karsten / October 27, 2017

STEM Expeditions® – active learning, plus career exploration

Note: Based on a Network article by Pat Forbes.

What if daily classroom activities got your students truly excited about learning? And, even better, what if they could explore careers – not one or two careers, but dozens, while engaged in hands-on STEM activities? What better way to make lessons relevant than connecting what the students are learning to everyday life and careers that use that knowledge?

Our STEM curriculum, STEM Expeditions®, offers this exploration using technology and hands-on learning to engage students and encourage pursuit of a career choice. And, in recent studies, Expeditions have enabled students to achieve statistically significant results on national science tests.

The best part is teachers are seeing that students truly retain what they learn, and this is showing in their assessment scores. This retention is accomplished by using project-based learning. The students are actively using both their minds and hands in a collaborative environment as they would in the working world.


These are only a few of the benefits to engaging students with Expeditions. Another is that grant providers are receptive to curriculum that teaches 21st-century skills while making real-world connections for exploration into careers. Take a look at these grant opportunities that do just that.

  • Constellation supports grants for schools that stimulate learning that investigates “problem-solving today’s and tomorrow’s energy challenges.” Expeditions such as Fueling the Future, Electric Tech, or Communications address the company’s concerns.
  • Brinker International supports projects in areas where its businesses are located and could favor Looks Like Rain, Cultivating Our Future, or Future Footprints from an Expedition classroom.
  • Northrop Grumman or Boeing would find great interest in Flight Dynamics, Engineering Rockets, Beyond Earth, or Fueling the Future.
  • The Eastman Foundation, which supports STEM learning, would happily support career connections in Future Footprints, Bio Research, or Cultivating Our Future.
  • The Pentair Foundation awards grants for “strengthening the communities in which we operate.”

This new hands-on era of learning is a stimulus for students and instructors to enjoy the collaborative emphasis of the Expeditions curriculum. There are other potential sources of revenue to support the acquisition of the curriculum.



Melissa Karsten

Written by Melissa Karsten

Anyone that knows me well knows I love to ask questions and get excited about learning. So, it’s been awesome throughout the last 13+ years with Pitsco to have so many opportunities to ask educators questions online and in their classrooms and learn from them. But, I have to say, my favorite part is witnessing the students’ “aha!” moments using the hands-on approach. Being a crafter – I’d love to be on "Flea Market Flip!" – I can relate. Now, if there were just a few more hours in the day for my digital projects, gardening, beekeeping, running, and what I call puppy time!