STEM education | St. Louis Public Radio

STEM education

School robotics competitions like this one at Missouri S&T in 2016 can help students develop an interest in STEM fields. 3/15/16
Sam O'Keefe | Missouri S&T

ROLLA — Rural Missouri school districts short on money sometimes struggle with teaching the three R's, so the idea of adding advanced science and technology instruction can be daunting.

A $250,000 state grant through Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla is helping 41 school districts in 10 counties in south-central Missouri bolster their offerings.

MARSfarm CEO and founder Peter Webb standing next to a chamber he built to grow basil at the St. Louis Science Center.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

At the St. Louis Science Center’s GROW exhibit on agriculture, a metal box casts violet light on a dozen basil plants.

A St. Louis-based startup called MARSfarm built the growth chamber, which it calls a food computer. The company’s instructions on how to build them and program small computers to grow produce are posted online. The small team that runs MARSfarm is also teaching high school students in the St. Louis area how to build them.

The startup aims to help astronauts grow crops on Mars. But since that’s years away, the company is focused on teaching people how computer technology can be used to help address the increasing demands for food on Earth, said Peter Webb, MARSfarm’s founder and CEO.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has put some of his political capital on the line to pass a gas tax increase on Tuesday.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s mission accomplished for Gov. Mike Parson, as the Missouri Legislature’s special session is all but over.

The Senate Friday debated and passed both revised bills the governor wanted – legislation to allow expansion of treatment courts in Missouri, and to create an online science, technology, engineering and math curriculum for middle-school and high-school students.

File photo I Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s latest special legislative session is underway as House and Senate members work to revise two bills vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Mike Parson.

The legislation would promote science, technology, engineering and math curriculum, known commonly as “STEM,” and expand treatment courts.

Commentary: Dropping back in the science race

Apr 7, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 7, 2009 - For years, the University of California at Berkeley was the most common undergraduate alma mater for people who got PhDs from American universities. But with science leading the transformation, the National Science Foundation says that Tsonghua University in Beijing overtook Berkeley in 2006. The second and fourth place institutions are also Asian.