What Is STEM?

We keep talking about STEM concepts in education. What is this and why is it important?

STEM learning refers to the education and learning of the subjects related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that combines these four subjects to solve real-world problems. We as model railroaders like to add the letter "A" to make the acronym "STEAM" with obvious reference to steam locomotives. The A stands for Art, which is appropriate because there is definitely artistic expression involved in creating beautiful landscapes and architecture while building model railroads.

STEM education aims to develop students' critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills. It encourages students to think creatively and use their imagination to explore different ideas and solutions.

STEM learning can take place in various settings, including classrooms, laboratories, and other hands-on learning environments. It can also involve a combination of lectures, experiments, and projects.

STEM education is becoming increasingly important in today's world as technology continues to advance, and the demand for workers with STEM-related skills continues to grow. By providing students with a strong foundation in these subjects, STEM education helps prepare them for a wide range of career opportunities and for solving the challenges of the future.

STEM and model railroading go together like ice cream and apple pie. Model railroad can demonstrate to students the actual hands-on application of what they are learning in school about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. All of these disciplines are used in the designing and planning of a model railroad. It shows students some of the real world applications of these concepts and increases their chance of remembering about them. It also may help influence future career decisions. We definitely need more scientists, and engineers in the workforce. And we need more people in general to understand science and to use basic scientific evidence to help make better decisions in their lives.

That's why we are so interested in promoting STEM learning and why not have fun learning it while building a model railroad?


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The Model Railroad Museum of Hampton Roads will be a fantastic community center based on running, operating and even building your own model railroads! There's something for every age here.

Learn about the real history of this area and how important it was in the building of America. Watch how railroads were built, the people involved, where America's roots were formed. 

As they build their own railroads, students will be learning about science, electronics,  architecture, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the art of 3 dimensional model landscaping. They can earn rewards for completing projects and winning contests.

Try to solve yardmaster problems on a switching layout like getting the lumber from the forest to the furniture store, by way of the saw mill and the lumber yard.

Run your train around blockades and other trains to get to the station on time without speeding or crashing.

Play railroad monopoly using model railroads. Winner is the one who can collect the most cars into his yard within an hour.

There will be programs for autistic and special needs kids, disabled adults and veterans.

School tours. Holiday Shows. Library and video rooms. Scouts are welcome. Even youngsters will have their own wooden models to enjoy. Classrooms and hands-on clinics for adults. Learn how to get started in the hobby. Or just enjoy the fun.

Everybody loves trains and this will prove it!  Just click on the either the blue or the yellow DONATE button below to make it happen... 

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