Matilda Advice

So much STEM in KC

Off-Kilta Matilda at Educator STEM Fest  Sometime you don't realize how much STEM is in KC! We found our tribe at Union Station last month and met amazing teachers and resources for STEM. Did you know that resouces like the KC STEM Alliance have the ecosystem covered if you need any help. Off-Kilta Matilda had a blast at the Educator STEM Fest at Union Station on September 23. She got to explore all the cool booths, where educators demonstrated things like indoor gardening, robotics, mad science, computer coding and math. Here’s Off-Kilta Matilda at the Federal Reserve booth.  She took a quick selfie with a bag of money. She also learned how money was made and even got to count some bills and coins. See the stack of money in the photo behind Off-Kilta Matilda? The Federal Reserve handles money like that and more! At the SEA LIFE booth, Off-Kilta Malita couldn’t help it. She jumped in the pool with the sea animals, and played with some fish, a turtle, a starfish, and even a whale! They all welcomed her even though she doesn’t live in the ocean.  After she was done playing in the pool, Off-Kila Matilda headed over to the Flint STEM Camp booth. Max, the owner of Flint STEM Camp, said that every year he hosts summer camps to teach kids about science, technology, engineering, [...]

2018-10-15T02:50:27+00:00October 10th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

STEM Jobs that Don’t Require a Four-Year College Degree

It’s a common misconception that a four-year college degree is a requirement when applying for high-paying jobs, especially in STEM fields.  But with ever-increasing college tuition rates and student debt on the rise— the average student debt is at $37,172, an increase of $20,000 since 20051—many people are thinking twice before making the leap. Although associate’s degrees are sometimes considered less valuable than bachelor’s degrees, times are changing. As more states keep track of graduates’ income, it is becoming clear that a two-year associate’s degree from a technical college can provide higher earnings than a four-year college degree—and at a much lower cost.2 Here are some STEM careers you should consider that don’t require a bachelor’s degree: Nuclear Technician Nuclear technicians work with physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production.3 They work at nuclear power plants in offices and control rooms, where they monitor and help operate nuclear reactors with the help of computers and other equipment. Median annual wage (2017): $80,370. Education: Associate’s degree in nuclear science or nuclear-related technology (may involve moderate on-the-job training). Radiation Therapist Radiation therapists administer radiation to patients under the instruction of oncologists and radiologists, locate tumors, measure the amount of radiation given to patients, and update treatment reports.4 Median annual wage (2017): $80,570. Education: Associate’s degree or a certification in radiation therapy. Projected increase [...]

2018-10-06T01:05:57+00:00October 4th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

How Use of the Female Talent Pool Could Address Workplace Challenges in the Near Future

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, although women constitute half of the total US college-educated workforce, they make up only 29 percent of the science and engineering fields.1 Additionally, research by the National Science Board shows that there will be workforce shortages in jobs that require mathematical, scientific, and technical skills.2 This means that unless these impending shortages are addressed, the US may not be able to continue to be an international leader in scientific and technological fields. Some experts have also predicted there will be rise in employment opportunities, especially in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) sector, where openings will increase by more than 50 percent.3 Hence, there is need for a workforce adept in the STEM fields. Yet another report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on The Future of Jobs has revealed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (characterized by a fusion of technologies that blends the physical, digital, and biological) will create future workplace shortages, which will in turn undoubtedly impact women’s employment prospects. It will also create disruptions in labor markets, as well as changes in business models across all industries.4 In this new market, some jobs will become redundant while others will see changes in the skills required, and still others will witness talent shortages owing to technological as well as sociopolitical and demographic changes. This news may [...]

2018-10-06T01:24:10+00:00June 18th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Make a Volcano with Off-Kilta Matilda™

We had fun making a volcano in our backyard! Here is a short clip we put together to show you how to do it too. We did this with the help of middle school kids—they got to make a volcano and make a video on how to make a volcano. We can integrate learning into many of our summer activities—STEM is in!   To make your own volcano, you will need a few supplies: Soda bottle (16 or 20 oz.) 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 cup vinegar Red food coloring If you want to add bubbles to your volcano, just add a bit of dish soap to the mix! We went a bit crazy and used everything from moss to rocks to decorate our volcano—you can do as little or as much as you want. Experiment Place the bottle in the middle of a flat surface. You can use a table, driveway, or patio. Put found materials around the bottle to make it look more like a real volcano or mountain. We used cardboard and tape and covered that with grass and moss. You can use dirt, rocks, and flowers—get creative! Pour the baking soda into the bottle. Add the red food coloring to the vinegar. Pour the vinegar into the bottle—we used a funnel to make sure it got in without making a [...]

2018-10-06T01:29:32+00:00June 18th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Summer Learning Loss Widens Achievement Gaps for kids.

Summer is here. We are time-starved, running from camp to camp and trying to keep a work-life balance (whatever that is). How should we engage our kids and keep their brains active and learning during summer? We reviewed the research on "summer learning loss" that summer vacation or the summer slide” has led to achievement gaps in our schools. Summer learning loss happens when students return to school. Many will start the academic year at achievement levels lower than the levels they were at at the beginning of summer vacation. This especially affects those from economically disadvantaged groups. There is a rising education inequality among kids. Kids living in underserved areas often go to under-resourced schools and often have limited access to quality afterschool programs and summer programs. And even if afterschool and summer programs exist, often financial constraints make it hard to access these experiences. It seems like common sense, but research also has illustrated that low-income families have less time and resources to devote to children's after-school enrichment programs and activities as well as summer enrichment programs like camps, music lessons, sports activities and other pay-to-play events. Long work hours and shift work also make it difficult for parents to spend dedicated time engaging in their children’s learning and development. On the other hand, well-to-do families spend close to seven times more money on afterschool enrichment programs than [...]

2018-09-14T21:41:30+00:00June 4th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Ten Fun STEM Projects You Can Do in the Yard

Here are some fun free things you can do to entertain your kids AND have fun at the same time! Get ready to make a mess—we will be posting short videos of our experiments online during the summer. Post yours and tag us! Volcano  This fun take on the classic science-fair exploding volcano is a creative way for kids to get out all of that pent-up summer energy. In this experiment, we’ll add a bit more explosion to the mess…and what kid won’t love that? Be sure to do this experiment somewhere that can be cleaned up easily—or, even better, do the experiment outside where no cleanup is required! Read the instructions here. Sticky Ice  This is a great experiment to do indoors when it is too hot or rainy outside. It’s a simple activity that can be done with household items and will show kids how freezing water affects ice in an almost magical way. This project is an easy way to drum up some learning and fun this summer! Read the instructions here. Glowing Volcano  What kid doesn’t love a big mess? This activity is a fun way to learn about chemical reactions while having a blast. This is a fairly simple experiment that requires just a few items and some adult supervision! If you happen to have a black light laying around it [...]

2018-07-31T18:42:15+00:00June 4th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Cumulative Effects of Math and Earning Potential

While the mindset of “not being a math person” is true for both girls and boys alike, the “fallacy of inborn math ability” is largely responsible for girls believing that they have an innate inability to excel in math.1 This sort of mindset is often thrust upon them not only by the media but also their parents and teachers. And guess what the result is? You’re right if you’re thinking lower-paying jobs. Girls miss out on successful careers in engineering, technology, science, math, and finance. According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, students who study advanced math in high school have higher salaried jobs and fewer chances of becoming unemployed throughout their lifetime.2 This correlation indicates that girls who do not study advanced math in high school are—before they even enter the workforce—already less likely to land high-paying jobs. Gender disparities are more prominent in STEM careers, especially engineering, the physical sciences and computer science.3 Though women constitute half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, they make up only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce.4 While the gender wage gap cannot be wholly ascribed to just education level or college major, a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) points out that there is a strong connection between college major and salary.5 Because most women tend to major in humanities, [...]

2018-07-29T17:10:34+00:00September 9th, 2017|Matilda Advice|0 Comments