A local consulting firm wants to put more STEM experts into Kansas City’s classrooms.
Blue Ocean Consulting has created a new website, www.iSpeakSTEM.com, that helps teachers connect with software developers, scientists, engineers and other professionals who are willing to serve as guest speakers.
The site is a partnership with the Kansas City Technology Council (KCTC). It’ll be ready for use when classes start again this fall.
“What we’ve done with KCTC is develop a software that hones in on what educators need in terms of STEM educational opportunities and offers them a platform that is at their fingertips and is easy to interact with,” said Scott Carson, Blue Ocean’s president.
“And there are so many professionals out there who are untapped but willing to get in a classroom and share their knowledge and information. It makes the process and the connection much more efficient for both teachers and business leaders. By opening this door and connecting these two worlds, we’re certain it will lead to increased opportunities and possibilities for these students.”
Blue Ocean assists businesses with a range of needs, including software development, data analytics and technology consulting.
Teachers in Liberty have been helping test www.iSpeakSTEM.com.
“It reminds me of a LinkedIn tool for education,” said Colleen Jones, a Liberty Public Schools district administrator. “You’re able to see potential speaker’s profiles, find out where they work and review a brief write-up of their experience. I don’t have to beat down doors of companies and beg to get someone to come in and meet with our kids. They come to us.”
By introducing students to STEM professionals, Blue Ocean and KCTC hope to encourage more young people to pursue careers in those fields.
“It’s a fact that across the nation, we’re facing a shortage of tech skills,” said Ryan Weber, KCTC’s president. “So it becomes our responsibility to increase the number of students we reach every year in order to bridge the gap.”