Houston educator creates magazine to facilitate STEM teaching

Sun News correspondentAugust 22, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- Wayne Carley believes it’s critical that students do well in science, technology, engineering and math.

Carley also believes the key to helping students do well is to help teachers creatively teach STEM subjects. To that end, Carley began publishing S.T.E.M. Magazine this month.

“In the past five years of teaching STEM subjects myself to thousands of students in Houston and Bibb Counties, I came to the conclusion teachers needed a periodical to address S.T.E.M. initiatives and to help clarify their role in STEM education,” Carley said. “STEM subjects are crucial to our student’s future and to the overall economic growth of our community, our state and our nation, and it’s teachers who make the difference. Unfortunately, some still don’t even really know what STEM stands for.”

Carley, who teaches in the Museum of Aviation’s STEM education program, said his magazine is free to educators and administrators and that this month’s inaugural edition was a 10,000 copy run. He said it can also be seen at the publication’s website, stemmagazine.com.

Carley said he has distributed the full-color, glossy magazine himself to schools and school systems in Middle Georgia and in the Atlanta area to such counties as Gwinnett and Fulton. He said many systems gladly sent the magazine to schools and teachers through their own inner-school post systems.

He said that while the magazine has received a few grants, the majority of funding for it has come out of his own pocket.

Carley said S.T.E.M. Magazine currently targets elementary and middle school teachers because that’s the U.S. age group that falls most dramatically behind in worldwide STEM test scores. He said he has already gotten positive feedback from teachers in Georgia as well as seven other states from California to New York to Florida.

“I’ve had teachers telling other teachers in other states about the magazine and different articles,” Carley said. “It’s certainly encouraging to get that kind of response. They ask how they can subscribe and I have to tell them it doesn’t work that way. Hopefully in the future the magazine can get more grants and funding to increase distribution.”

Plans are for the magazine to come out each August and January. Titles of articles in the current edition include “What is S.T.E.M. and Why Do I Need to Know?”, “Game-based Learning and S.T.E.M. Education,” “An Open Letter to Principles,” “Technology,” “Growing our Future Workforce,” “Diversity Participation” and more.

“The most popular article seems to be one on writing and STEM education,” Carley said.

Another article, one written by Carley himself, is called The Need for Re-Inspiration.

“S.T.E.M. Magazine exists to provide clarity on incorporating science, technology, engineering and mathematics into every class curriculum,” Carley said. “But teachers need to regularly be inspired themselves as to why they became teachers. They need to be re-inspired in their own joy of learning and their desire to share that with students. I hope the magazine informs, encourages and enables teachers in STEM subjects but also in how to stay motivated as life-long learners themselves and how to pass that on.”

In the article, Carley cites statistics saying teacher turnover rates are as high as 20 percent nationally with teacher drop-out rates often surpassing student rates.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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